Trading Standards continued its software compliance investigation on Welsh businesses yesterday, under new copyright powers.
Inspecting the software estate of yet another Cardiff business, the visit builds on previous operations involving Cardiff Trading Standards and the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) carried out last December.
Having previously written to over 200 businesses in Cardiff in 2008, Trading Standards warned all companies to check their software licences and to get their houses in order for inspection.
Julian Heathcote Hobbins, general counsel of FAST IiS said the firm is working with Trading Standards to help educate ‘Corporate UK’.
He said: “We hope that all businesses that received a Trading Standards letter, as well as a guidance document from ourselves advising how to ensure they are 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.”
In April 2007 Section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 was implemented with Gordon Brown announcing funding of £5m, later that year, for Trading Standards to enforce against copyright offences. The funding was then raised to £7.9m in 2008.
Dave Holland of Cardiff Trading Standards, said: “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.”
David Lammy MP, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “This sustained activity sends a clear and message that we are all serious about tackling the problem.”
Lammy claimed intellectual property crime is estimated to have cost the software industry £925m in the UK in 2007 alone.
“This approach is crucial when faced with IP crime in the workplace as many businesses are unaware of the problem and the damage it causes,” he added.
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