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FAST, Trading Standards test out new powers in Welsh raid

Alex Scroxton

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) and Swansea Trading Standards have conducted their first anti-piracy raid using powers granted in 2007 under section 107A of the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, which allows for surprise inspection of business premises on reasonable suspicion of copyright infringement.

Trading Standards raided an as yet undisclosed area firm Monday after FAST received information from a whistle-blower that the firm's directors were aware that the company was downloading unauthorised copies of software packages.

"The evidence we took to Trading Standards has proved invaluable in securing the inspection without notice," said FAST chief executive John Lovelock.

"After April 2007 the law strengthened Trading Standards' han; something they should have received 13 years ago when it first entered into the statute book. Now it has the powers it needs to be able to do the job unhindered and effectively, and we will fully support that role," he said.

Lovelock added that FAST intended to send a very clear message to businesses with the surprise raid, reiterating previous calls for a level competitive playing field.

"A prosperous software industry and creative IP sector as a whole leads to increased employment and success. IP violators knowingly flouting the law must be found and brought to book," he added.


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