Cost cutting, acquisitions and lack of education blamed for infringements

30% of UK small businesses using unlicenced software

New research from BSA reveals that nearly a third of UK small businesses have admitted to infringing copyright law when it comes to managing software.

Michala Wardell, UK committee chair, BSA says: "It’s shocking that almost a third of small businesses are infringing the Copyright Act when it comes to managing their software. And simply bewildering that many of these businesses don’t change their software management practices until they face a legal challenge. Given the costs involved, you’d think the job of sorting out software licences would be a priority from the word ‘go’."

The research reveals that half of acquiring businesses fail to follow due diligence when it comes to software audits, and 78 per cent of businesses feel they need to be more educated on the risks of becoming under-licensed.

Cost cutting seems to be a major incentive for infringing copyright law, with 30 per cent admitting they would consider buying the wrong kind of licence to save money.

Last year, safety specialist First Choice Facilities Ltd paid damages to the BSA as well as purchased valid licences, amounting to almost £100,000, after acquiring another company and allegedly inheriting a substantial amount of unlicensed software.

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