Over a quarter of all software installed on PCs in the UK is pirated, the Business Software Alliance has claimed.
The claim comes on the day that the body, which represents the interests of members including Microsoft and Adobe, released research into levels of piracy around the world.
The research, which was conducted in partnership with IDC, found that globally piracy rate had increased for the second year in a row from 38 per cent in 2008 top 41 per cent.
According to the research, the French are one of the worst offenders, with 41 per cent of software installed on PCs thought to be unlicensed. The results come on the day after the French government brought its ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy into law.
27 per cent of software on UK PCs is thought to be unlicensed, while the in the US the figure is thought to be closer to 20 per cent.
"With more than one in four software installations categorised as illegal in the UK, we cannot afford to give up the fight against software piracy," said BSA UK country committee spokeswoman, Alyna Cope.
However, the body stopped short of calling for a similar law to that enacted in France, rather urging for the Government to do more to educate businesses and consumers. "Much more needs to be done by the industry and the government to warn businesses and consumers of the risks associated with under-licensed software, from a legal, financial and operational point of view.
"Software piracy hurts our knowledge-based economy by weakening the very foundation on which it is built – respect for intellectual property and innovation."