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Business Software Alliance Fines U.K. Firms Big Bucks

March 29, 2011
By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), just yesterday announced that the amount it has won from U.K. businesses through lawsuits has doubled due to software licensing issues in 2010, raking in an astonishing £2.2 million ($3.5 million approximately) for the past year.

This group is backed by some big name companies including Microsoft (News - Alert) and Apple, as well as some angry employees who have seen their companies follow licensing laws that were not stringent enough.

“Companies throughout the UK continue to be negligent when it comes to software licensing,” the BSA said in a statement, using examples such as an English design company, a Scottish travel company and a Northern Irish medical company.

The BSA has continued to push campaigns regarding what piracy actually is, which included a month long advertisement strictly focusing on the Birmingham district—which ironically counted for 15 percent of all the BSA’s reports in the U.K. last year.

“Companies that cut corners to save costs when it comes to renewing their software licenses are breaking the law and this is an ideal excuse for frustrated employees to secure some payback on management,” stated Julian Swan, director of compliance marketing EMEA, in a statement.

The BSA encouraged employees to report their companies through its website.

This coalition wants businesses who refuse to comply with software licensing rules to understand that if they refuse to follow the rules, not only will they have to pay great fines, but they are contributing in driving down the U.K. economy. “Many businesses need to understand that software is a valuable asset and is a key driver of growth for UK plc,” stated Michala Wardell, chair of the BSA UK Committee, in a statement.

Microsoft conducted research this past year that showed a shocking one in three British adults thought using pirated business software is “acceptable.” In the survey of 1,000 participants, one in eight people admitted that they currently use pirated software at work, and more than half thought their bosses would think this was perfectly fine.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee
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