software theft

Federation Against Software Theft

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST)[1] was formed in 1984 by the British Computer Society's Copyright Committee, making it the world's first software anti-piracy organisation.

In September 2008 FAST and Investors in Software signed an exclusive agreement to operate under the Federation name[2] to strengthen and clarify the advice given to the end user community relating to best practice for Software Asset Management (SAM) and achieving cost efficient licence compliance[3]. The new organisation will operate under the name FAST IiS.

In May 2008 FAST IiS launched an initiative with the aim of making it easier for end users to manage their software licensing requirements to contain costs and ensure effective software asset/licence management encompassing compliance, the Software Industry Research Board (SIRB), was formed in consultation with five of the tier one software vendors[4].

FAST IiS remains a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members who include software publishers, resellers, distributors, SAM practitioners and law firms. FAST IiS works to champion the professional management of software and protect members’ rights.

Since its inception FAST has successfully lobbied for an effective, efficient and robust software IP system in the UK and EU through its dealings with the UK Intellectual Property Office. FAST was instrumental in bringing about amendments to the Copyright Act 1956 culminating in software being recognised as a literary work, clarifying protection under copyright law[5].

In 2007 FAST, with the Alliance Against IP Theft, was successful in pushing for the implementation of Section 107A Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and having IP crime as a measurement on the National Policing Safety Plan[6].

With a long history of working with both software end user and the vendor communities, FAST and IiS have built up a high degree of expertise and knowledge that can be drawn upon by these communities to help in the day-to-day management of software and licensing issues[7].

Prior to the agreement with FAST, Investors in Software were a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee with a mission to support and advance professionalism in software asset management and related IT asset management, to enable individuals and organisations to improve effectiveness and efficiency. As a direct result of their work the ISO SAM ISO/IEC19770-1 standard was successfully launched in May 2006[8].

In the past FAST has also been successful in conducting enforcement activities on behalf of Federation members averaging over £1,000,000 each year for the software industry.

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