5 - Software Manifesto - Muscular law enforcement
As we run up to the general election in May I am delighted to launch FAST ten point Software Manifesto that focuses on three key areas: enforcement, deterrence and accountability. Over the next two weeks we will publish one point per day and welcome feedback and discussion.
Muscular law enforcement
Back in 2006, The Gowers' Review on Intellectual Property recommended that the enforcement regime should be both ‘effective and dissuasive’. In 2009, the Ministry of Justice’s Response to Consultation on The Law of Damages recognised that it is ‘currently possible to acquire licenses for software applications after an infringement has been discovered without any penalty being imposed.” Since that time nothing on this has changed and there is still a notable lack of legal deterrence of corporate use of software out of compliance.
FAST is also calling for Trading Standards to keep its legal right to inspect shops without notice and request to see what is being sold from under the counter. From FAST’s experience this right has allowed them to unearth counterfeit software that might have been missed and sold to the consumer had a notice period been required by law to be given to the trader.