The British Software Alliance (BSA) has issued a writ against a firm supplying IT training to the unemployed, alleging it has been using more than #650,000 of pirated software over an 18-month period.
This is the largest potential software piracy lawsuit to take place in the UK, following the case against Reid Kare College in Paisley, which, as is usual in these situations, settled out of court last year. The college allegedly used 1,000 illegal software copies, valued at #50,000.
In this latest case, Coventry-based JHP Group was accused by the BSA of using more than 2,000 unlicensed versions of software packages on 66 of its sites spread around the country.
The plaintiffs cited in the writ - issued at the High Court of Justice, Chancery division - include Microsoft, Autodesk and Lotus. They have applied for an injunction to prevent JHP from making further use of their software and requested unspecified damages.
The situation was brought to the BSA?s attention via a tip-off on its helpline.
A BSA spokesperson said: ?This has been going on for a long while, about 18 months, with letters flying back and forwards, but JHP was totally uncooperative. But, it does want to settle now and there will be some discussions. Our lawyers were in contact again a few days ago.?
Jeremy Hertzog, lawyer at JHP?s solicitor?s Mishcon Dereya, refused to comment on the situation except to say: ?We hope at some point to discuss it with the other party.?
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