The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is to launch a new software piracy campaign at a special event in Gateshead in a bid to raise awareness of the economic impact of knock-off software, with the emphasis on protecting local jobs.
The 'Software - Stay Legal' programme will providing training and education on the issue to Trading Standards officers from across the north-east of England, with support from local software powerhouse Sage.
Local MP Catherine McKinnell highlighted the importance of protecting jobs in the region, saying: "The software industry is particularly important to my constinuency, with Sage being one of the single biggest employers in Newcastle North."
FAST chair Phil Keown added: "Piracy is sometimes seen as a victimless crime, but the simple reality is that anything that harms legitimate, legal sales will cost jobs. The North East is a vital region for the technology industry.
"That is why we are working hard to educate Trading Standards across the region, giving them the tools and knowledge to combat this crime," he added.