Trading Standards officers have exercised new copyright powers handed to them last year for the first time by paying a visit to a Welsh firm.
Having written to 200 businesses in July, advising that they get their software estates in order, Cardiff Trading Standards yesterday carried out a full forensic assessment of one firm's software estate.
In April 2007, the Section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 was implemented, along with £5m funding from Gordon Brown later in the year for Trading Standards to enforce against copyright offences.
In July, Cardiff Trading Standards announced via mail shots that it could and would inspect businesses to ensure they were compliant with their software licenses.
Dave Holland of Cardiff Trading Standards, said: “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.”
The new enforcement rulings also gave Trading Standards the opportunity to team up with other anti-piracy bodies, such as Fast IiS, to educate and investigate software compliance.
John Lovelock, chief executive of Fast IiS said: “We hope that all businesses that received 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 n atural course of activity is enforcement. Software piracy seriously harms content creators and it enables firms to cut costs and compete unfairly with legitimate firms.”
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