FAST Warns Channel About Unlicensed Software Applications

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has stepped up its awareness campaign in the UK channel warning against the peril of the supply of unlicensed software applications to business users.

Julian Heathcote-Hobbins, General Counsel, FAST, stated: “Your business as a reseller depends on your reputation for delivering reliable products and services. Keeping a clean nose means being careful to only install genuine software procured from a trusted supplier.

“All it takes is an unscrupulous reseller or systems integrator duping unsuspecting customers using their technical skills to install unlawful copies on computers – if you like, a bad apple in the barrel. The system builder gets paid, the software publisher does not and the business customer is left without a genuine copy and is a copyright infringer,” he added. “If that is not enough of a risk, it also raises the question of cyber health, and can damage the reputation of the supplier industry.”

Software piracy is the illegal reproduction and distribution of software applications. Because of counterfeit and unlicensed software ingress, legitimate software supplier businesses are not only losing customer opportunities; they’re missing out on ongoing revenues and the chance to add value.

“FAST has long campaigned on behalf of software publishers being one of the twentieth century’s major success stories with the genesis of FAST being the clarification in law that software benefits from copyright. IP is a wealth generator and employment catalyst which Britain is rightly proud of,” continued Julian.

“Unscrupulous suppliers and hoodwinked businesses are not only at risk of infringement legal claims, legitimate customer trust can be blighted by a rogue reseller.”

FAST is working with its communities including the channel, alongside a number of its members, to raise awareness of this issue and educate them on how to avoid risk.

“It has always been our contention that end users themselves need to purchase from known and trusted sources and avoid ‘too good to be true’ deals. The channel needs to continue to be vigilant to root out any rogue resellers. After all, it is in no-one’s best interest if the reseller community is tarnished with the same brush if illegal activity is found,” he added.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine