The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is a not faraway from rolling out a forensic tool that will enable Trading Standards tosearch systems to find unlicensed software.
John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, said that it wasdeveloping an application that would provide the Trading Standards officersthat entered premises with the ability to check systems for products that didn’ttally with licensing documentation.
“Because Trading Standards is going into a businessinvestigating a criminal offence it has to be beyond a shadow of a doubt [theevidence of wrong doing],” he said.
He added that a third-party was working with FAST to developthe tool and it hoped to have it ready in a few months to be able to armTrading Standards with technology that could interrogate systems to reveal thetrue picture of software they were using.
Earlier this week FAST carried out its first raid in Becton,East London with Trading Standards using the powers laid out in Section 107A ofthe Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which came into force in Aprillast year.
Under the powers in the Act Trading Standards are able toenter business premises they suspect of holding counterfeit product. The raid earlier this week was on a residential propertyand was made in conjunction with the Police, which provided the necessarywarrants to search domestic property.
Speaking to MicroScope a couple of days ago Michala Wardellhead of anti-piracy and licensing at Microsoft UK, said that it benefitedeveryone if the criminals were prevented from selling and using counterfeit goods.
“The more these dodgy traders are removed from the channelit will help keep a more buoyant channel,” she said.
The powers that were made law ion April 2007 under Section107A have taken time to filter through as the enforcement bodies have got togrips with ways to use the law but there has been an increased amount ofanti-piracy activity this year as FAST along with the Business SoftwareAlliance start to use powers given to those protecting intellectual property bythe government.