Powers granted to Trading Standards and the police last year have, for the first time, been used to raid a home of a person suspected of dealing in unauthorised software.
The powers, which were issued to allow permission to enter property if police and Trading Standards suspect it is being used for the purposes of trading unauthorised software, means that Trading Standards can work on the behalf of representative bodies to prosecute those suspected of committing crimes.
The raid came after several pleas by the vendor of the software in question to stop selling the software, which had been imported from Hong Kong. When its pleas were ignored, it contacted the Federation Against Software Theft, which in turn contacted Trading Standard.
The suspect was questioned and cautioned.
Speaking about the raid, a spokesperson for Trading Standards told CRN: "The evidence brought to Trading Standards by FAST legal has proved invaluable in securing police cooperation for the raid. Critically, this is the first time for my branch in UK history that we have been able to use these new powers granted in April 2007."
It was echoed FAST chief executive John Lovelock, who added: "We are delighted that Trading Standards is making use of its new duties and powers granted under the implementation of 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
"This will level the playing field for the UK software industry and the creative IP sector as a whole and, I hope, lead to increased employment and revenue from this important sector as suspected IP thieves are found and shut down.
"Trading Standards may now work in cooperation with representative bodies to enforce the law on copyright offences. The law has strengthened Trading Standards’ position giving copyright offences the attention they should have received 13 years ago when it first entered into the statute book.
"Trading Standards can now fully operate with its hands untied and we can move forward to address something that has been ignored for far too long."