The Business Software Alliance has taken four manufacturing companies for over £50,000 in its latest clampdown on alleged unlicensed software use.
The four companies involved, Samuel Brice Ltd, J Tools Ltd, Garran Lockers Ltd and Automotive Components Group Ltd (IAC), were found to be using unlicensed versions of software written by firms including Adobe,Autodesk and Microsoft.
Garran Lockers claimed its license shortfall was caused by an ‘under-performing director’ who has since been given the heave ho, while IAC found itself short on Microsoft server licenses after failing to perform due diligence on a 2008 acquisition.
The BSA’s director of compliance marketing for EMEA, Julian Swan, said the IAC case demonstrated the importance of correct auditing when acquiring and added that it was quite common for firms to overlook the legality of their inherited software estates.
Swan also acknowledged that manufacturers often came under pressure to complete their orders on time and within budget, but said that “perceived costs savings from using unlicensed software [are] just an illusion” and would damage their reputations.
“If unlicensed software is used, companies do not have access to the same support services as legal versions, which can result in downtime and major delays, impacting profitability and the ability to deliver. Businesses should not risk jeopardising their future by trying to cut corners,” said Swan.
Matt Fisher of SAM vendor FrontRange said: “The BSA is right to point out the reputational damage, as businesses cannot afford to lose the trust of consumers and partners in the current economic climate.”
“With tools to facilitate software asset management readily available and simple to implement, there really is no excuse,” he added.