The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is continuing its campaign against software piracy after settling with Leicestershire-based plumbing and glazing firm Norman & Underwood Ltd for alleged use of unlicensed software.
The BSA said it was tipped off anonymously and followed up with a formal software audit, resulting in a settlement without admission of liability.
Norman & Underwood was hit with costs of £19,287, inlcuded settlement fees and the cost of purchasing the Microsoft licences it needed to ensure legal compliance.
BSA UK committee chair Michala Wardell said: "The abuse of IP rights is a serious offence and will not be accepted. Settlements such as this cans eriously damage a company's reputation if they are caught out."
According to Wardell, the total cost to UK businesses using unlicensed software doubled last year to £3.4m.
BSA EMEA director of compliance marketing Julian Swan said that more licensing breaches were occurring when company management regarded software licensing "as an IT problem, rather than treating their software as a business asset".
"The BSA is urging companies to implement software asset management best practices and take advantage of the tools available from vendors to ensure that their licensing is in order," he said.