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News

Information disclosure legal loophole now closed.

The Federation Against Software Theft : 10 October, 2007  (Technical Article)
IP theft of software rights now made more difficult through revision in UK laws on information disclosure.
The 2002 Enterprise Act has been changed from 1 October 2007, which will enable The Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation), to obtain information from investigations by Trading Standards into software theft.

Part 9 of the Enterprise Act on Information Disclosure contains a general restriction on the disclosure of information; unless that disclosure is within a permitted 'gateway' or the information has previously been made public. The Federation has campaigned tirelessly through the Alliance Against IP Theft to open this 'gateway'.

Welcoming the news, Julian Heathcote Hobbins, senior legal counsel, Federation Against Software Theft said: "This is a new weapon in our arsenal for targeting and prosecuting software thieves. All too often offenders have been subject to investigations and sometimes prosecutions do not get off the ground. Software theft should not be a soft touch! However by opening the 'gateway', The Federation now has the opportunity to continue investigations on behalf of itself and its members under Civil Law."

The fresh provisions for rights holders' use of information disclosed by Trading Standards under the Enterprise Act for civil purposes are now in force as of 1st October. The information can be used in civil proceedings by consumers or intellectual property rights holders.

Heathcote-Hobbins concluded: "Our message is simple and stark, we will defend our members' rights in every case and if the investigation by trading standards does not lead to prosecution then we will leave no stone unturned."
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