The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has warned that UK business is losing money and risking fines by increasingly ignoring software piracy issues.

A survey of IT managers, commissioned by FAST, revealed that the awareness of piracy concerns among company directors had dropped nearly a third to 21 percent.

However as the digital distribution of software becomes more popular, licensing requirements will become more complex. 60 per cent of respondents believed this would further complicate piracy issues in the business environment.

Already 56 percent of the survey’s respondents admitted that they would find it difficult to prove ownership of the software on their company’s PCs. 61 percent believed there was a high legal risk to their company due to non-compliance and a lack of director-level interest in the problem.

Geoffrey Webster, chief executive of FAST, added that businesses were ignoring the savings that could be made from software management and licensing.

“Efficient software and network control can save between £500-£1000 per PC, per year. Following a major IT audit Scottish Widows were able to recoup £7m per year. This is the biggest hidden competitive advantage,” he said.

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