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FAST hits hospital with £13,000 settlement

Simon Quicke
Highlighting the extent to which unlicensed software can be used across the public sector FAST has secured a £13,000 settlement on behalf of its member Esker in a case against a Sheffield NHS Trust hospital.

As a result of a former employee whistle-blowing about the under licensing of Esker SmarTerm 2009 terminal evaluation software the Trust was investigated by Trading Standards a john_lovelock2.jpgnd has ended up shelling out a settlement.

Esker specialises in document processing and management and is designed to reduce manual paper based form filling and its Northern European sales manager Alistair Nicholas said it had to defend its intellectual property.

"For any software company, the goal has to be to protect intellectual property and defend software integrity, in order to fund ongoing support and development for our customers," he said.

The case against the Sheffield hospital marks a return to working with Trading Standards for FAST, which has been actively working with the organisation in the past to stop users and traders of illegal software.

John Lovelock, FAST chief executive, said that his organisation had clout and it would protect its members interests.

"This case came to us as a direct result of our recent whistle-blowing campaign and we worked with Sheffield Trading Standards to investigate the claim. The Trust itself worked with us closely to ensure that it rapidly resolved it's under licensing issue and paid the outstanding amount in full," he said.

In response, David Whitham, informatics director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said that it was a "genuine error which we resolved very quickly as soon as we became aware of the situation".

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