Feeds

FAST hails copyright ‘big stick’

PC Seizures R'US

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

On November 20, Copyright etc and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002 comes into force.

This will see the balance of power between copyright holders and consumers tilted significantly away from the latter. FAST, the Federation against Software Theft, a rival (and as such mostly inconsequential) to the Business Software Alliance, succinctly explains the sea-change in rules "which give the police – working with copyright owners and enforcement agencies – search warrants with seizure powers for organisations using illegal software, could force law-breakers out of business".

All PCs and 'technical equipment' can be removed from businesses if the police find evidence of illegal copying. Prior to November 20, Police could only seize PCs from traders and importers of copyright material.
Also insurance policies are likely to be rendered invalid if the PCs are seized. Without computers, business could collapse, FAST points out.

This is a Good Thing, according to Paul Brennan, general counsel at FAST: "This action reinforces everything for which FAST stands – and for us is the equivalent to a big stick with which to confront organisations that are flouting copyright law. It clearly demonstrates that using illegal software is a criminal issue, and an offence that will not be tolerated."

It also shows that copyright holders and their supporters will lean on the police to dispense summary punishment through judicial seizure. And if there weren't so many darn end-users, the copyright attack dogs would come snarling for us too.

Over to Robin Fry, intellectual property partner at city law firm and new FAST Legal Advisory Group (FLAG) member, Beachcroft Wansbroughs: "With the proliferation of CD-Rewriters, illegal copying has now moved from far Eastern factories to the home – and now to the office. Action against end-users will increasingly be the only way to break a widespread habit (our italics). Far from being acceptable, copyright theft damages business and jeopardises the jobs of many developers and creative individuals. Criminal sanctions against companies – and the directors personally – are really the only effective deterrent for what regrettably has become widespread disregard of the law."

Related stories

MS anti-piracy crew puts Suffolk dealer in the stocks
The XXX Clause is Obscene

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.