A third of companies are using
illegal computer software, costing the IT industry £1bn a year and threatening
thousands of jobs, according to a new survey.
The research by the Business
Software Alliance (BSA) found that 90 per cent of pirated software is used by
companies and not private individuals.
Companies caught using the
illegal software are liable for large fines and bosses could even be jailed.
The BSA said that if piracy in
the UK was cut by 10 per cent over the next two years, it would create 40,000
new jobs and save the economy £2.5 in tax revenues.
The BSA has been
criticised in the past for scare-mongering and being heavy handed in its
treatment of organisations suspected of using unlicensed software.
IT users have complained that
honest errors with licensing have been treated as deliberate software piracy.