Software body the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has launched a campaign urging UK employees to blow the whistle on their employers if they are asked to install software illegally.
The new intiative from FAST aims to encourage more individuals to report unlicensed software, while promoting the availability of professional support and advice.
John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, said: “The message is clear and unwavering: any UK employer asking or encouraging staff to install illegal software is now at risk. We want people in IT to know there is support and the means to combat any illegal behavior by contacting us, and have protection in law under the Public Interest and Disclosure Act 1998 (Whistleblower Act).
“We hope that by raising awareness of the laws protecting employees, the number willing to blow the whistle will increase.”
Research conducted last year by market watcher IDC and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) indicated that illegal software use in the UK is around 27 per cent. A report from the BSA also found that the UK was losing more than £1bn in taxes and new high-paying jobs, as a result of illegal software.
In a recent survey by the Software Industry Research Board (SIRB), part of FAST IiS, it was revealed that only 48 per cent of general management staff in enterprises believe that compliance is a risk to their organisation.
Lovelock added: “The amount of lost revenue is utterly outrageous, especially considering the recession.
"The bottom line is if a software application does not have a licence number, or if the licence only entitles its use for an individual machine but is being copied and installed on multiple computers, it is illegal.”
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