Half of UK companies stuggle to prove ownership of software

Nearly half of British businesses would struggle to prove that their software was legally licensed to them, new research has revealed.

Nearly half of British businesses would struggle to prove that their software was legally licensed to them, new research has revealed.

A survey of IT directors at 300 businesses by software industry body the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) found that 48% admitted they would have difficulty proving to their company board that all their software was legal.

The research found that more than three-quarters of businesses (78%) had a written software management policy. But 42% of the IT directors did not feel they had sufficient staff to manage their IT assets, while just over a quarter said they did not have the budget to purchase the necessary tools for the job.

More than a quarter of those surveyed had never carried out a full software audit, while 37% of those who had done so were concerned about the accuracy of their auditing process.

FAST director general John Lovelock said: “Software compliance should be one of the top priorities on the agenda of a company board yet our survey has shown that it is a board level issue for just 67% of the
organisations we spoke to.”

Lovelock, whose organisation acts on behalf of software firms to enforce copyright legislation, warned: “The legal implications of failure to comply are vast but just a third of respondents actually admitted to being very concerned about it.”

In July, FAST recovered £1.4m for UK software firms – its highest ever figure for a single month – bringing its total to more than £7m over the past six years.

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