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UK manufacturer coughs £10k for unlicensed software

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A Nottingham-based maker of tags that deter shoplifters has made an out-of-court settlement with the Business Software Alliance for £10,000 following an investigation into its unlawful use of unlicensed Adobe, Apple and Microsoft products.

Shore to Shore Ltd has produced over four billion tags and labels this year for Tesco, The Gap, Donna Karan and Arcadia Group. The company admitted its mistake, which amounts to a breach of copyright law, in a statement that sounds like part of the settlement deal.

“It is all too easy to use software which has not been properly licensed or has infringed copyright,” said a spokesperson for Shore to Shore Ltd. “However, while it may seem like a saving in the short term, it does not constitute savings for the long term. Following from our experience, we are very supportive of the BSA’s initiative for promoting the safe use of software licensing.”

Siobhan Carroll, Regional Manager Northern Europe at BSA, said: “We hope that this case will encourage other businesses in the Nottingham area to respect the value of software they use by ensuring that they are properly licensed.”

The BSA says it is now critical for companies to deploy software asset management (SAM) processes and infrastructure in order to ensure their employees are not infringing copyright law.

The BSA recently disclosed that it receives more than one lead per day from individuals reporting their employers for failing to have the correct software licences, a rise of 23 per cent from last year. The most common motivation behind reporting a company for software piracy is from employees who feel mistreated at work or are facing redundancy or dismissal: 63 per cent of piracy cases reported were prompted by disgruntled staff.

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