The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has put a £1.9m figure on the cost to British businesses for being caught using illegal software last year.
That sum is made up of the £400,000 that companies have had to pay out to the BSA in damages and the £1.47m that companies then had to spend to purchase the correct software.
The figures put another angle on the size of the piracy problem in the UK with IDC annual figures putting it at 26% of the software estate last year.
Julian Swann, BSA's director of compliance market for EMEA, said that the level of piracy in the UK remained at an unacceptable level.
"We urge companies to recognise the dangers of using illegal software, and warn those deliberately flouting the law that we will be ramping up our enforcement operations in the months ahead," he said.
The BSA also toted up the costs across EMEA for the cost of damages and being forced to buy legal software with it reaching $23m, with $8m being paid out in damages to the intellectual property lobby group.
It also revealed that it was received 5,546 leads in Europe last month, equating to 460 businesses being reported to the BSA each month.
That threat of legal action is not one to be taken lightly with the BSA along with the Federation Against Software Theft IiS and Microsoft all gunning for those companies using and selling illegal software.