Manchester is the worst English city for software piracy outside London, according to an IT industry body which is trying to stamp it out.
The Business Software Alliance is giving local businesses six weeks to prove themselves legal or face an investigation.
The BSA intends to “reach out to local businesses to educate them of the impact software piracy can have”, particularly on the local IT industry, which employs more than 40,000 people.
During May and June, Manchester businesses will be asked to take part in a “software healthcheck” to assess their own status.
Companies that complete the check will not be subject to BSA investigation that will follow after the two-month period.
BSA representatives will be in Manchester from May 12 to meet local business groups, software resellers and politicians.