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Survey reveals 20% of managers not controlling software legitimacy

The Federation Against Software Theft : 05 January, 2009  (Technical Article)
IPO report shows extent of intellectual property infringement problem with as many as 20% of company managers displaying poor control over software inventories
A major research project conducted into intellectual property (IP) infringement in the workplace conducted by the UK Intellectual Property Office has been welcomed by FAST IiS.

The report - The Hidden Marketplace - which was commissioned by the IPO and conducted by ICM over the past few months, interviewed more than 1000 adults in work and is seen as the most authoritative research project undertaken in the UK in recent years.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive of FAST IiS, stated: "This research was essential to demonstrate to government the attitude and ignorance to IP theft in the workplace as they have disputed the reported losses to UK industry for years."

"This came about as a result of the IP Crime Group, which is hosted by the UKIPO and of which we are a member leading on the Workplace Strategy, lobbying for independent research to gain attention from Government to take IP theft more seriously.

"But at last we now have a report which is both independent and comprehensive, spanning the entire breadth of IP in the UK workplace and the findings back up what we in IP protection have been saying for years. It is a very real and present threat, one that is endemic and one that appears to be consistently swept under the carpet by organisations large and small alike," he added.

The key findings relating to the illegal use of software included:

* 28% of respondents do not have a formal policy in place to advise staff that they should not download digital content from the internet without the copyright owners' permission, or paying for it.

* Only 45% of those questioned had formal policies in place to forbid illegal activity!

* 19% stated that their organisation carried out internal checks less than once a year to ensure all business software was properly licensed and 33% did not know how often or if their organisation carried out these checks. That means in reality that just over half were not in touch with whether their business software was fully licensed

* 24% of directors stated that their organisations carried out checks less than once a year and 18% of company directors said that they did not know whether or how often licences were checked.

* Across all organisations 6% stated that they allowed staff to download or file-share copyrighted material. This figure rose to 14% amongst the media and creative services sector. 5% had no idea whether they did or not.

* 7% of respondents were aware that copyrighted material was copied at work; 12 % had no idea whether it was or not.

John continued: "This report confirms that the issue of under - or indeed over - licensing is of major concern not only to the software industry, but to business in general, as if proof where needed!"

"Government now has to sit up and listen and respond accordingly," he concluded.
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