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News

Trading Standards software licensing audit carried out in Cardiff

The Federation Against Software Theft : 12 December, 2008  (Company News)
The Federation Against Software Theft has begun its campaign with the Trading Standards Agency to perform forensic audits of companies in South Wales in relation to software licensing
Trading Standards officers in Cardiff have investigated the software licensing compliance of a Welsh business under new copyright powers over software licensing in the first action of its kind in the UK.

Having written to over 200 businesses in Cardiff, Trading Standards advised one company was inspected on Wednesday 10th December, with a full forensic inspection of its software estate.

Section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 was implemented in April 2007, with Gordon Brown announcing seed funding of £5 million in late 2007 for Trading Standards to enforce against copyright offences. Trading Standards officers now have the duty and power to enforce against copyright offences. As such, Trading Standards may now work with education and support agencies such as FAST IiS to educate and investigate to promote software compliance so vital in the Digital Economy.

Cardiff Trading Standards' innovative campaign to advise businesses in the city on the issue of software use began in July 2008 with an educational mail shot explaining that Trading Standards will be giving this matter attention.

Trading Standards announced that they could and would inspect businesses, acting as a warning for all firms to check their software licence compliance and to get their houses in order.

John Lovelock, Chief Executive of FAST said, "FAST IiS is working with Trading Standards to help educate 'Corporate UK' as part of our remit to aid businesses in getting the maximum cost effectiveness out of their software. We hope that all businesses that received Trading Standards letter, as well as a guidance document from ourselves advising how to ensure they're not breaking the law, have double-checked their software assets and can demonstrate compliance. If the investigations show that any are committing offences then the natural course of activity is enforcement. Software piracy seriously harms content creators and it enables firms to cut costs and compete unfairly with legitimate firms."

Dave Holland of Cardiff Trading Standards, added: "Trading standards have been working in cooperation with FAST IiS, using their technical expertise to help enforce copyright law and planning a programme of advice and education for our local businesses. We announced earlier this year that our officers would conduct a number of random inspections to ascertain how well businesses are performing against legal requirements in our Digital Economy. We want to help business meet legal requirements and remain competitive in the current economic climate. However, any businesses flagrantly breaking the law without regard will be brought to account."
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