Scottish engineering company Norson Services has been fined £12,000 for using unlicensed software following an anonymous tip-off.
The company is the latest in a string of high-profile names, including House of Fraser and WHSmith Online, to be busted by software piracy policing body the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
An individual reported the company to the BSA's anti-piracy hotline and an audit found Norson Services to be using unlicensed copies of Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft software.
Bill Bell, managing director of Norson Services, admitted that the company had been lax about updating its licences.
"Rapid growth and a change in corporate structure meant that our licensing arrangements weren't given the priority they deserved," he said.
"Having worked with the BSA to rectify the situation, we can now say that we're fully licensed and have set up good software asset management practices.
"We shall remain vigilant and will be conducting regular checks on our software to avoid a replay of this situation."
The tip-off hotline is part of the BSA's aggressive campaign to tackle the use of pirated and unlicensed software by businesses, which it claims costs suppliers £1.7bn a year in western Europe alone.
Callers can receive up to £10,000, or 10 per cent of any fine.
The BSA said that, to avoid breaking the law, users should:
- Set up an effective software purchase procedure
- Take an inventory of software assets
- Compare software used to licences owned and delete software with no licences
- Write a formal list of software available to employees
- Monitor software with periodic checks.
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