BSA tackles Rugby-based power company over unlicensed software

By Sooraj Shah
26 Mar 2012 View Comments
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Power conversion company Converteam UK has had to pay more than £8,000 after using unlicensed software.

The firm, based in Rugby, was using unlicensed software products published by Adobe and Microsoft and had to pay £6,000 in fines in addition to purchasing a number of licences in order to become compliant at a cost of more than £2,000.

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Philippe Briére, chair of the BSA UK committee, said that in 2010 UK firms were fined a total of £2.2m for using unlicensed software.

"A lot of businesses do not realise that software is protected by the law," he said. "When a business acquires authorised software, a licence is also being purchased to use the program under the agreed terms. If a user makes more copies of the software than the licence permits, they are acting illegally."

Julian Swan, director, compliance marketing Europe at BSA, added that a company's management has to see software as a business tool as opposed to an IT problem.

"Businesses need to recognise that software is a strategic asset for organisations of all sizes, which must be properly managed and optimised to derive the greatest possible value from it. The installation of unlicensed software often happens when a company's management regards software licensing as purely an IT problem, rather than treating their software as a business asset.

"It is important for companies to implement software asset management (SAM) to ensure that not only are they legally compliant, but are deploying their software in the most cost efficient and productive way," he said.

The BSA said that Converteam UK had been co-operative throughout the investigation.

Earlier this month, loans provider Provident Financial told Computing that it would save at least £350,000 by deploying a licensing management tool.

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