Four companies have reached out-of-court settlements with the Business Software Alliance, following their use of illegal software.
London-based Blitz Corporation, Genetics of Ludlow, Sheffield-based MTL Group and Modular UK, based in East Yorkshire, reached settlements described by the BSA as "running into tens of thousands of pounds".
The BSA described the cases as "a warning of the significant financial implications for those caught using pirated or unlicensed software".
Blitz Corporation, a martial arts equipment supplier, was operating approximately 15 PCs containing unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft and Quark software, as well as illegally using OEM editions of Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, and unlicensed student editions of QuarkXpress Passport and Adobe CS3 Master Collection.
Genetics, a medical research company, used illegal copies of Microsoft Office. Modular UK Building Systems, a building equipment supplier, was running Adobe and Autodesk software respectively.
Finally, MTL Group, a manufacturer in the metal sector, was investigated for the alleged "under-licensing" of several copies of Autodesk AutoCAD.
The BSA said that apart from the costs of the settlement, by using unlicensed software the businesses had also risked "potential IT failures and the corruption of vital data and systems".
Sarah Coombes, senior director legal affairs for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the BSA, said: "The BSA takes a firm line against the disregard of software licensing regulations. Businesses of all sizes can find managing their software assets challenging, but as software is often the most valuable business assets a company has, it must be managed appropriately."
Earlier this month, a survey by the Federation Against Software Theft claimed that 79 percent of company directors would be happy to avoid buying software licences in order to support their company's balance sheet during the current tough economic climate.
This story, "British Companies Settle Piracy Claims" was originally published by Computerworld UK.