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Kyson in Scrutton Street was slapped with the fine after an investigation by the Software Alliance.

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The trade association for the software industry asked Kyson to carry out a self-audit after a whistle blower reported they were using unlicensed Adobe, Autodesk and Microsoft software.

Michala Wardell, chair of Software Alliance’s UK Committee, said: “Even though £3,000 may not seem like a particularly substantial loss, for smaller companies such as Kyson Design it can be much harder to absorb unforeseen losses in an economic downturn.”

Compliance marketing director Julian Swan added: “Apart from the financial risks of being found with unlicensed software, there are also potential security threats to bear in mind.

“Unlicensed software is not always fully protected from malware and can lead to downtime.”

Scott Kyson, founder of Kyson Design, said: “I have been surprised by the aggressive approach taken by the Software Alliance towards small enterprises, particularly in the current economic climate.

“Although for an expanding business such as ourselves the timing of their approach prompted us to re-structure our entire IT set-up and start utilising network licenses for certain software to flexibly accommodate our increasing staff levels.

“I am concerned though, that this hard-line approach may be detrimental on smaller businesses.”

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