Trading Standard's campaign to root out software pirates has been given a boost by the announcement that the Federation Against Software Theft leant its weight to the operation.
Trading Standards has announced that starting today it will be cold-calling resellers, beginning in Cardiff, to identify counterfeit software, and will be using FAST's expertise to determine whether or not the product is an illegal copy.
Speaking about the agreement between the two organisations, John Lovelock, director general for FAST, said: "Without the FAST, TS could only identify copyright offences. The FAST identifies the software and provides an expert to confirm that it is counterfeit."
Dave Holland, speaking on behalf of Cardiff's Trading Standards department added: “Trading standards may now work in cooperation with representative bodies to enforce the law surrounding copyright infringement.
"The law has strengthened our position, giving copyright offences the attention they should have received 13 years ago when first entered into the statute book. Trading Standards can not operate with its hands tied – we can now move forward to address something that has been ignored for far too long."
However, Lovelock was keen to stress that the operation was not out to demonise the people it is trying to help: "The campaign is not out to get the resellers, it want to work with them up the food chain to identify the supplier at the top. The Fast feels sorry for resellers, as there are so many companies in a chain that it is not unusual for them to get caught in the illegal software trap.
"If it is seems good to be true then it usually is. If a reseller is concerned about the software it is purchasing then contact the vendor or contact the FAST and we will confirm as to whether it is an original or not. There will be no come back on the reseller, by doing this, but we will want to know where they received it from."