BSA reaches £11,000 settlement with unlicensed design firm

Hacker hands

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has reached a settlement with an East Yorkshire-based design agency found using unlicensed software.

Web Market Solutions paid a 6,500 fine, as well as an additional 4,500 in licensing costs to bring it into line with the BSA's rules.

The anti-piracy body received a complaint about the firm, prompting it to carry out a self-audit, which confirmed the presence of unlicensed software.

The Yorkshire region has come under intense scrutiny from the BSA, who recently asked 1,500 businesses in the region to prove they have licenses for their software.

Philippe Brire, chair of the BSA UK committee, said: "Companies must recognise that the abuse of intellectual property (IP) rights is a serious offence and can have severe consequences.

"Companies, such as Web Marketplace Solutions rely on a sound reputation, and settlements can seriously damage the company's standing and are evidently costly," Brire added.

The BSA published the findings of its annual Global Software Piracy Study last month, which found that the UK had a software piracy rate of 26 per cent in 2011. Meanwhile, the commercial value of this pirated software was estimated to be 1.2 billion.

Julia Swan, director of compliance marketing for EMEA at the BSA, added: " Effective Software Asset Management (SAM) can highlight cases of over and under licensing within a business, making sure the organisation is running as efficiently as possible."