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News

South Eastern England targetted by FAST campaign.

The Federation Against Software Theft : 28 August, 2007  (Company News)
The Federation Against Software Theft is concentrating on raising awareness to the perils to businesses of software theft in the South East of England which is home to some of the largest software corporations in the world.
The Federation Against Software Theft (The Federation) is warning all IT businesses in the South East of England that they must act now to protect their products and ideas from theft and counterfeiting, or face the prospect of collapse.

The South East is home to the headquarters, sales and/or research and development activities of a substantial number of the world's top software companies and John Lovelock, Director General of the Maidenhead based Federation said if they haven't done so already, companies need to take action to prevent IP theft, to safeguard their businesses and thousands of jobs.

"It's astounding to consider that all of the world's top ten software companies, and 43 of the world's top 50 software and service companies have operations in the South East or on its borders. These range from large scale corporate headquarters to small sales offices," he said.

The region is also home to a number of cutting edge universities such as Reading and Guilford which produce a stream of talented computer science graduates. Lovelock added: "If software organisations sit back and do nothing to protect IP, then in time there will be no jobs for these graduates, but equally no incentive to enter an industry where any creative ideas they develop are open to theft."

Figures from researchers at TechNavio revealed that ignoring this message would be disastrous for the UK economy. The UK software market in 2006 generated approximately £10.5 billion. This represents 6% of the overall UK ICT market which includes software, hardware, IT services and communications.

The Federation works with companies to educate on software compliance - alongside its enforcement duties as the 'software police'. Its aim is to ensure that the UK software industry thrives - which it won't do in the current climate of software theft and non compliance . 27% of software within UK businesses is unlicensed/illegal, with annual losses to the industry of circa £1 billion, and office workers are generally unaware that their illegal software activities in the workplace could land their employers in jail.

Lovelock concluded: "The country needs greater education and awareness of the issues surrounding illegal software, for the sake of protecting jobs, not just current ones, but those of future generations too. The UK once had a strong manufacturing base, but in the face of increasing competition and a rapidly globalising economy it failed to adapt and compete. The UK IT industry is today one of the most important wealth creators in our economy. We need to adapt and protect to survive."
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