Safety specialist First Choice Facilities has been forced to pay the Business Software Alliance (BSA) £18,000 in compensation for using unlicensed software, and an additional £81,000 for additional licences to put its software portfolio in order.

The company is alleged to have used unlicensed software as a result of acquiring a new company. Based in Isleworth, First Choice Facilities was found with unlicensed Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft and Symantec products.

The company claimed it had not purposely used unlicensed software but unknowingly inherited the problem during the course of the acquisition. But it was forced to pay compensation as a result of failing to run sufficient software licensing checks.

The BSA says it will take action against the use of unlicensed software regardless of how the software comes into a company's possession.

Michala Wardell, chair of the BSA UK committee, said, "As we continue to educate businesses on the risks of inheriting unlicensed software through a merger or acquisition, businesses will struggle to cite ignorance as a mitigating factor and those found with unlicensed software could be liable to pay greater sums of money in damages."

The BSA said the case came to its attention through a "whistleblower" connected to First Choice Facilities.

Earlier this year an East Yorkshire digital marketing agency agreed to pay £6,500 in damages to the BSA after being found using unlicensed software.

The Beverley-based Web Marketplace Solutions also had to spend a further £4,500 on new software licences to make its organisation fully software licence compliant.