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UK firm pays biggest ever fine over 'pirate' software

Keel-hauled

An unnamed UK firm has agreed to pay a record fine of £250,000 ($498K) for running unlicensed software.

The company (which operates in the infrastructure and public services sector) was running unlicensed copies of Adobe, Autodesk, and Microsoft software on hundreds of PCs across several UK locations.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) started its investigation into the firm in October 2006, eventually resulting in the agreement of an out-of-court settlement late last month.

"The size of the settlement is a reflection of the serious nature and scale of unlicensed software use at this company," said Sarah Coombes, director of legal affairs in EMEA for the BSA.

Illegal software use remains high among UK businesses, with piracy rates static at around 27 per cent for the last three years. The BSA said it was investigating a large number of companies for suspected software piracy. ®

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