London Palace Bingo Club IT director Chris Pugh took a gamble when he purchased tablet PCs direct from a Chinese manufacturer.
The gamble did not pay off, however, as a Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) audit subsequently identified significant under-licensing of Microsoft products at the club.
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As a result, London Palace Bingo Club bought a Microsoft Open Licence for 255 Windows Pro 8 products to cover the tablet.
"We looked at purchasing hardware direct from manufacturer to lower our total cost of ownership and believed the pre-installed software was fully-licensed," said Pugh.
"The information we were given was incorrect, however, and the FAST investigation highlighted the risks involved in dealing direct with manufacturers in China. It was an honest mistake on our behalf and we welcomed FAST's intervention, which has improved our understanding of the risks and resulted in positive changes to our procurement process and software asset management," he added.
Alex Hilton, CEO of FAST, said: “We would recommend that any business considering cutting costs by buying and using cheaper Chinese products be aware that there is very often a highly complex and convoluted supply chain, with goods passing through several suppliers before they reach the ultimate end user.
"We would urge consumers to think again at the very least, and check the legality of the licences any product purports to have.”
As Computer Weekly has previously reported, the software industry needs to work with users to make terms and conditions of software licensing clearer.