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BSA in new London-area illegal software crackdown

Written by Roberta Murray
Monday, 20 July 2009

Illegal software costs Inca Creative, Matthews & Goodman, and Fortune Asset Management almost £100,000.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is today announcing settlements with three London-based companies for breaching intellectual property laws by using unlicensed software.

The total cost to the three businesses is estimated to be just under £100,000, excluding legal fees and disruption to operations.

These cases act as a timely reminder of the BSA’s current initiative in London, supported by local politicians and business leaders, to raise awareness of software piracy and educate companies about the associated risks. Now more than ever, businesses cannot afford to lose money through legal cases, financial settlements and the unplanned requirement to purchase legitimate software.

Inca Creative Limited, a London-based graphic and website design agency, settled for £5,000 with the BSA after using unlicensed copies of Microsoft and Adobe software (including Office and Photoshop) on approximately 14 computers. The company also had to make compliance purchases of around £10,000.

Property advisors, Matthews & Goodman LLP, paid the BSA £17,500 as a result of under-licensing Microsoft software on approximately 75 computers and three servers. Furthermore, Matthews & Goodman purchased a large amount of software in order to rectify the situation, meaning the total cost to the business was almost £60,000, excluding legal fees.

In addition, following the discovery of unlicensed Microsoft software on approximately 30 computers, alternative asset management firm, Fortune Asset Management Ltd, agreed an out-of-court settlement with the BSA worth £8,500 and has paid out approximately £10,000 on purchasing the correct licenses to ensure compliance.

“These cases highlight the major financial risks businesses in London are running by using unlicensed software. Our campaign is designed to help organisations avoid penalties but London, as one of the world’s biggest centres of commerce, needs to set an example and companies flouting the law will be exposed,” commented Alyna Cope, spokesperson for BSA’s UK Country Committee.

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chambers of Commerce & Industry, said:

“London has a vibrant business community and a strong pedigree in the IT industry. Stamping out software piracy in the city means business can save money and be more productive, while also reducing the risk of computer viruses and security problems. It also means that software companies can be properly rewarded for their innovation and creativity.

“I would urge all businesses which use software, however big or small, to take advantage of the BSA’s offer of support. Completing and returning a self-audit form and ensuring their software is legal, will bring benefits not only to their own companies, but to the London economy more generally too.”

According to the global research firm IDC, driving down the software piracy rate by 10 percentage points could generate 13,000 new jobs, £1.08 billion in tax revenues and contribute £4.46 billion to the UK’s economy.

First published July 20, 2009

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