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News

First raid takes place under new copyright powers

The Federation Against Software Theft : 18 September, 2008  (Technical Article)
Federation Against Software Theft instigation of changes in copyright powers leads to first software raid under section 107A of the copyright, designs and patents act
The Metropolitan Police and Trading Standards have conducted the first anti-piracy raid using new powers granted under section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 implemented in April 2007.

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), working on behalf of one of its members, supplied detailed information on the individual who was selling what appeared to be unlawful copies of software from his home address. The suspect, from Becton in East London, was tracked selling unauthorised copies of high value flight simulation software imported from a general trading company based in Hong Kong.

Trading standards cautioned and questioned the individual after discovering the physical evidence in his home to back up FAST's research and the testimony of the FAST member.

A spokesperson for Trading Standards explained: "The evidence brought to Trading Standards by FAST legal has proved invaluable in securing police cooperation for the raid. Critically this is the first time for my branch in UK history that we have been able to use these new powers granted in April 2007."

The suspect was tracked by the software vendor and was told to cease the sales. Only this warning was ignored did the vendor escalate the action to FAST who assisted Trading Standards in securing the warrant for Trading Standards and police to enter the premises.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive of FAST explained, "We are delighted that Trading Standards is making use of its new duties and powers granted under the implementation of 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This allows inspection of premises whenever they suspect illegal copyright activity is being conducted. This will level the playing field for the UK software industry and the creative IP sector as a whole and, I hope, lead to increased employment and revenue from this important sector as suspected IP thieves are found and shut down.

"Trading Standards may now work in cooperation with representative bodies to enforce the law on copyright offences. The law has strengthened Trading Standards' position giving copyright offences the attention they should have received 13 years ago when it first entered into the statute book. Trading Standards can now fully operate with its hands untied - and we can move forward to address something that has been ignored for far too long."
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