The Federation Against Software Theft (Fast) has lost several of its largest publisher members, following complaints that the organisation was not addressing the industry's needs, and the imminent set up of Business Software Alliance UK(BSA).
Adobe and Novell have decided to support BSA UK which will be officially launched at the Windows Show next week. Other software publishers such as SCO and Symantec have also chosen not to renew their Fast membership.
Novell licensing manager Martin Smith said: 'Novell has left Fast because Novell do not believe Fast was addressing the needs of the industry any longer.' Adobe marketing director Ricky Liversidge said: 'From Adobe's point of view the role with both organisations wasn't working. We weren't getting the market we required from Fast. We wholeheartedly support the BSA.' Fast CEO Geoff Webster admitted industry membership was down on last year, but claimed that corporate membership had improved. Webster said he was aware of Adobe's and Novell's feelings. 'Their perception is not an accurate one, and not reflected by the majority of our members.' Webster said Fast was concentrating on counterfeit products found in the channel, and denied that its efforts were too low-end. 'In the past Fast has attended car boot sales, but in the last year that has been turned off as a bit of a waste of time.' He said Fast was being more selective in the cases it chose to follow, and was working closely with police and trading standards.
An industry source said Fast had blocked the BSA's suggestion of a possible merger between itself and Fast. The source added: 'People are fed up with Fast in that it has been unable to have any effect on software piracy in the UK.'
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