FAST teams up with Trading Standards in Cardiff to enforce Intellectual Property

Building on its previous campaign to enforce intellectual property rights the Federation Against Software Theft has teamed up with Trading Standards in Cardiff to target businesses in the Welsh capital.

Building on its previous campaign to enforce intellectual property rights the Federation Against Software Theft has teamed up with Trading Standards in Cardiff to target businesses in the Welsh capital.

The aim of the summer pilot is to help firms in the city understand the risks of using unlicensed software through a combination of letters, sending 1,000 firms guidance notes on the four steps to take to be compliant and then following up with Trading Standards visits.

John Lovelock, chief executive of The Federation, said that it was exploiting the changes in the law that came into effect last April around the protection of intellectual property giving Trading Standards the right to search premises without a search warrant.

Under Section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 those trying to crack down on copyright infringement have been given more ability to crack down on unlicensed products.

"We can choose which business to go and knock on the door once they have had the letter and given time to consider their position," he said.

He added that it would view the pilot as a success if it encouraged other Trading Standards to take a similar approach.

"We are hoping we get it moving in some of the other 200 Trading Standards agencies," he said.

In a statement, Dave Holland, at Trading Standards Cardiff, said that it wanted to be able to enforce the law on copyright using a combination of advice and education.

"Later this year, our officers will conduct a number of random inspections to ascertain how well business are performing against legal requirements," he said.

FAST has been active in Cardiff before and the other group trying to enforce licensed software, The Business Software Alliance, operated a campaign in Glasgow last year and is running a similar scheme in Manchester this year.

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