The Federation Against Software Theft and the British Standards Institution have launched a standard for software compliance to help businesses steer clear of illegal software and the resulting risk of prosecution and fines.
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The FSSC-1:2004 compliance standard was drawn up by Fast with input from Abbey Bank, Axa, the BBC, Grant Thornton and Oracle, following compliance work with 4,500 companies.
The standard consists of four main disciplines:
- establishing policies and procedures for the use of all software
- carrying out a full enterprise-wide electronic audit of all systems
- reconciling the audit of software holdings against licences or other proof of the right to use software
- on-going management to ensure licence discipline is continuously maintained.
Mike Low, BSI director of British standards, said, “While many businesses are using illegal software unknowingly, in the eyes of the law ignorance is no excuse.
“In addition many companies are wasting millions because they are actually paying for licences they don't need. This new standard delivers something to both software vendors and users."
Launching the standard, Fast claimed that almost half of all UK companies ran the risk of being taken to court for their use of unlicensed software.