Trading Standards and the Federation Against Software Theft (Fast) have joined forces to start cold calls on software resellers to check whether they are selling bootleg software.
The two organisations will first start calling on resellers in Cardiff from 8 November 2007. Trading Standards teams, using their powers under the Trademarks Act of 1994, will check whether the software being sold is within the law.
This is the first such initiative in the UK with Trading Standards Officers now able to use their powers of inspection under the terms of the law. The Federation will act as an additional resource on the ground during inspections.
Gordon Brown recently announced £5m for trading standards to enforce copyright laws. Trading Standards officers now have the duty and power to enforce laws against criminal copyright offences. Officers can now work with enforcement agencies such as Fast to investigate copyright offences and may enter UK workplaces.
Dave Holland, of Cardiff Trading Standards, said, "Trading standards may now work in co-operation with representative bodies to enforce the law surrounding copyright infringement.
"The law has strengthened our position giving copyright offences the attention they should have received 13 years ago when first entered into the statute book. Trading Standards can not operate with its hands tied - we can now move forward to address something that has been ignored for far too long."