A stock brokerage firm and two mortgage companies in the US have agreed to pay a total of more than $420,000 (£214,000) to settle claims that they had unlicensed software on their computers, the Business Software Alliance has announced.
The settlements with the three companies also require them to delete all unlicensed copies of software installed on their computers, acquire any needed licences and implement stronger software licensing management practices.
Brokerage firm IBG of Chicago agreed to pay $175,000 (£89,000) to settle claims that it was using unlicensed copies of Microsoft and Symantec software, BSA said. American Mortgage Consultants of Illinois paid $136,750 (£69,600) to settle claims that it had fewer licences than it had copies of Adobe and Microsoft software on its computers.
NovaStar Mortgage of Missouri paid $112,000 (£57,000) to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Autodesk and Symantec software on its computers.
Jenny Blank, BSA's senior director of legal affairs, said: "We wish it weren't necessary, but enforcing copyrights has proven to be the best way to encourage businesses to review their installed software and take any steps necessary to become compliant."
Last year the Business Software Alliance (BSA) - a group that includes Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Dell, HP and dozens more – announced it was offering up to a million dollars (£500,000) for anyone who informs the group on a company that is illegally circumventing software licensing agreements.
However, for the top payoff to be made 22 conditions have to be met.