Firms warned over software copyright

UK anti-piracy group the Federation Against Software Theft (Fast) has warned companies to check ‘rented’ software supplied over the internet from unlicensed providers, or risk breaching copyright.

Geoff Webster, chief executive at Fast, said that users may be infringing copyright and has called for a “back to basics” approach to software compliance in the potentially volatile application service provider (ASP) market.

“ASP contracts and licences need to be checked with lawyers to ensure there is no shortfall that could lead to potential copyright breaches,” he warned.

“Measures must be taken immediately to reinforce and tighten software management procedures. There is a tendency for companies to believe potential liabilities for copyright infringement vanish once they sign up to an ASP agreement,” he added.

The warning follows a recent survey conducted by Fast and UK consultancy KPMG which revealed that software licensing is still not being taken seriously by senior management.

The report revealed that more than half of all respondents (56 per cent) would find it difficult to prove ownership of all their software, but that 61 per cent felt that the legal risk to their organisation of non-compliance is high.

First published on

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