Software vendor lobby group BSA The Software Alliance has so far settled seven cases of copyright violations this year worth a total of $147,000.
"Last year saw a total of 12 businesses in breach of copyright law, and we are not seeing any indication of settlements slowing in 2015, with Australian businesses again failing to understand the risks with using unlicensed software," said BSA Asia-Pacific senior director Roland Chan.
In 2014, BSA settled violations totalling $825,000, with three-quarters of the cases coming from Victoria. BSA research released June last year estimated the value of unauthorised software in Australia at $837 million.
"Organisations that knowingly use unlicensed software for commercial gain are getting an unfair advantage to the detriment of the market, and are doing a disservice to their customers and partners."
BSA The Software Alliance – which represents big-name multinational vendors such as Apple, Microsoft, CA, IBM, Oracle, Symantec and Autotask – stated that architecture, manufacturing and engineering businesses continue to lead in copyright violations this year.
Chan also said that software piracy has "a strong connection" with cybersecurity threats, citing a BSA and IDC study.
"Customer information is put at risk, proprietary business information can be stolen by hackers, and the public relations impact of a breach can be disastrous for a business and its executives," he said.
Businesses can take three steps to avoid software piracy, according to the BSA: logging software deployments, employee workshops and software audits, and using a software asset management tool.
"SAM ensures that controls are in place to avoid security and operational risks, and gives organisations a full view of what is installed on the network," read the statement from the BSA.
The Washington DC-headquartered BSA The Software Alliance started the Australian arm in 1989 as the Business Software Association of Australia.