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Scottish firm pays £120,000 over unlicensed software

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Updated A company in Renfrewshire, Scotland has paid almost £120,000 to settle claims that it had too few licences for the software installed on approximately 100 computers. The company would have been sued for copyright infringement if it had not settled.

The deal with Total Repair Solutions was announced by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) today. The industry body also announced a settlement of £24,582 with Scottish motor dealer John R Weir Limited over unlicensed copies of its members' software.

A spokesperson for John R. Weir said: "We now understand the importance of ensuring our licenses are up-to-date and the potential threats we were exposed to. We have taken major steps to ensure the effective management of our software licenses and would urge other companies to do the same."

Last year the BSA contacted thousands of businesses in and around several cities, including Glasgow, urging them to take action to manage their software licenses and alerting them to the risks of using illegal or unlicensed software.

Julie Strawson, Chair of the BSA’s UK Country Committee, said: "The continuing disregard for licensing law is a real cause for concern. With the economy entering a period of slowdown, companies should make sure they are compliant: no-one wants to face an unexpected bill after falling foul of the rules or encountering operational difficulties due to viruses."

Update: Total Repair Solutions contacted the Reg with the following statement:

TRS chief executive Sergio Tansini said: “We have been growing incredibly quickly over the last few years and situations such as this can, and do, occur in all businesses.

“As a reputable company, we took immediate steps to correct our software position once it had been brought to our attention.

“Throughout this period, we maintained constant dialogue with Microsoft.” Mr Tansini revealed the settlement figure was £20,000, not the £120,000 figure mentioned in the BSA statement.

He added:“The vast majority of our expenditure was purchasing the relevant software, which we would have done anyway.”

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