Taking advantage of changes in the law that have strengthened the power of Trading Standards in its fight to protect intellectual property rights the first company has been inspected.
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Earlier this year the law was used to raid a residential property in East London but the latest move in Cardiff is being seen by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST IiS) as a stepping up of the campaign against those using unlicensed products.
The investigation by Trading Standards of a business in Cardiff follows on the back of a campaign that FAST IiS ran in the Welsh capital to raise awareness of the need for legal software.
Trading Standards started a full forensic inspection of a Cardiff-based company yesterday and the agency intends taking similar action against other businesses.
“We want to help business meet legal requirements and remain competitive in the current economic climate. However, any businesses flagrantly breaking the law without regard will be brought to account,” said Dave Holland,from Cardiff Trading Standards.
FAST IiS has been pushing Trading Standards to take more advantage of the powers set down in Section 107A of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act, which give them the right to make unannounced searches of businesses.
“If the investigations show that any are committing offences then the natural course of activity is enforcement. Software piracy seriously harms content creators and it enables firms to cut costs and compete unfairly with legitimate firms,” said John Lovelock, chief executive at FAST IiS.