Design firms warned over unlicensed software

Written by: Laura Hopperton | Published:

Engineering companies are being urged to ensure their software is properly licensed, or face legal action.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) made the assertion as it announced that Project Options, a UK-based design company, was fined £16,000 because it had been using unlicensed CAD software from Autodesk.

The company, based in West Sussex, was also made to purchase new software licenses worth approximately £17,500.

A BSA study found that in 2011 the UK had a software piracy rate of 26%, meaning more than one in four software installations were unlicensed.

Warren Weertman, senior counsel at the BSA, said that while a number of companies were unaware they were using unlicensed software, others did so 'very consciously'.

"It is often seen as a cost-saving mechanism," he noted. "The message from the BSA to engineering firms is, if you think you are using unlicensed software, or you know you are using unlicensed software, it will cost you more to sort things out if you have the BSA or one of its members coming after you. Take action before it escalates into a legal issue."

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