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FAST kicks off summer anti-piracy campaign

Simon Quicke

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has kicked off a joint initiative with Trading Standards in various locations across the UK to launch a summer education campaign against unlicensed software.

FAST has a track record of working with Trading Standards in Cardiff stretching back a couple of years and it keeps that relationship going as well as adding Southampton and the Royal borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to the list.

The campaign, 'Software - Stay Legal' will educate businesses about how to buy software and remain compliant and builds on a pilot scheme that was run in Cardiff last year.

John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, said that it wanted to protect the software industry and ensure that only genuine products were being used.

"It has become commonplace for businesses to often unintentionally break piracy laws by not paying attention to software licensing," he said.

"Businesses will not benefit from cutting corners when it comes to software compliance," he added "Aside from a hefty fine and possible imprisonment for criminal offences by directors knowingly allowing illegal use, an organisation can lose its reputation if it is exposed for illegal activity."

Rob Abell at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Trading Standards, said that software piracy impacted liegitmate businesses and, "future investment, innovation and people's jobs are at stake".

"We want a level playing field for those businesses that are meeting their legal requirements," he added.

FAST as well as the Business Software Alliance has had success with educational campaigns that target specific locations and follow up educational work with enforcement.

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