Nearly 9,000 companies have responded to an anti-piracy software audit organised by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
In January the BSA wrote to 43,000 companies asking them to complete an online software audit return, declaring that all the software on their systems is legitimate.
The BSA said that it has had a 20 per cent response rate to the campaign. The anti-piracy group's members include Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec.
Mark Floisand, the BSA's UK chairman, indicated that business use of pirated software is declining gradually.
"It is getting better slowly: 25 per cent of business software is pirated," he said. "This is less an issue of theft or aggravated privacy than simple neglect and a lack of awareness. Five years ago it was 30 per cent."
Floisand explained that the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the use of counterfeit software in business, and to get companies to check their systems.
"We want 100 per cent licensing, not 100 per cent form filling," he said.
Some companies do not respond to the audit because they are already fully licensed and don't need the reminder.
But Floisand claimed that a small number of companies don't respond because they know they are using pirated software.
"There are those organisations that don't respond in the face of continual reminders, and a small hardcore that may be fully aware that they are using pirated software and don't want to respond," he told vnunet.com.
The BSA has set up a hotline on 0800 510 510 where people can report companies for using unlicensed software.
"There is a strong correlation between companies being reporting to the hotline and non-responders to the audit," said Floisand.
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