Manufacturers urged to compute by the book

Posted on 18 Aug 2009 by The Manufacturer

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is warning manufacturers against software piracy after releasing details of legal action it has taken against four firms found to be running unlicensed computer programmes.

The cost to the businesses exceeded £50,000, which does not include any legal fee costs incurred and reputational damage.

The four cases described are:

• Samuel Bruce Limited, dealers and manufacturers of office furniture products: unlicensed use of Adobe, Autodesk, and Microsoft software on approximately 50 computers, £20,000 settlement.

• J Tools Limited, manufacturer of metalworking machine tools: unlicensed Autodesk and Microsoft software on approximately 20 computers, £7,000 settlement

• Garran Lockers Limited, manufacturer of storage lockers: unlicensed copies of Microsoft software on 25 computers, £5,000 settlement

• International Automotive Components Group Limited (IAC), global producer of car parts: unlicensed Microsoft server software at one site, settlement undisclosed

Julian Swan, BSA’s director of compliance marketing for Europe the Middle East and Africa, pointed out that it is in manufacturing firm’s best interests in the long run to pay for the real software, even disregarding the fines they could face by installing unlicensed versions.

“In the manufacturing sector, ensuring orders are completed on time and within budget is vital,” he said. “If unlicensed software is used, companies do not have access to the same support services as legal versions, which can result in downtime and major delays, impacting on profitability and the ability to deliver. In an industry where competition is fierce and reputation is paramount, businesses should not risk jeopardising their future by trying to cut corners – perceived cost savings from using unlicensed software is just an illusion.”

The BSA said all four firms listed above were cooperative throughout investigations. Incompetent former employees and oversights due to mergers and acquisitions were cited as reasons for the firm’s digital indiscretions.