FAST builds on its social media presence | FAST

FAST builds on its social media presence

13th April, 2016

FAST drives Facebook advertising campaign to catalyse reports of software misuse following success of pilot

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has increased its social media focus to drive home the message that employees need not risk their reputation at work when using pirated software.

The anti-piracy body launched a range of adverts on Facebook for the first time in 2015 encouraging downtrodden individuals to report software misuse by their employer.

Alex Hilton, FAST CEO, commented: “We experimented with a number of campaign ideas and executions to find out which message was resonating with Facebook users and tracked the impact of each ad through traffic to our website report page. Over the last six months we have seen a dramatic increase in traffic with the latest campaign generating some 1,800 visits to our confidential report web page facility.

“We have launched a number of new ads, again designed to chime with the reputation of the end user employee on the impact of software misuse. This is because IT pros want to do the right thing. As well as some slight alterations in the reporting process we have also launched a new call-back service for those individuals who do not feel comfortable completing a full report to FAST there and then. We believe this small but important change will again help people concerned about whistleblowing to do so in private and if need be, with anonymity,” he added.

“One of the key messages we are trying to educate users on is that the rise of the hybrid IT estate – comprising both cloud and on-premise solutions – is making license management more complex, not less. As a result the potential to mismanage compliance or even be miss-sold is as strong today as it has always been.”

“Our message remains clear: it is not just the software publishers who suffer from software piracy. Our campaign appeals directly to the person in the IT department being told to ignore often flagrant software misuse in the business, through to the office manager who fears for their own position.”

In 1984 FAST became the UK’s first software anti-piracy organisation to successfully campaign for changes to copyright law for the software industry. However, despite the software and IP landscapes shifting significantly since the industry body first launched, it remains that software should be used in accordance with agreed rules. Over the past 30 years the industry body has launched a number of new educational and whistleblowing initiatives, this being the latest.

To be protected as a whistle-blower you need to make a ‘qualifying disclosure’. This could be a disclosure about:

  • criminal offences
  • failure to comply with a legal obligation
  • miscarriages of justice
  • threats to an individual’s health and safety
  • damage to the environment
  • a deliberate attempt to cover up any of the above

If you would like to make a report to FAST about an organisation using unlicensed software please use the form at the link below. Please complete as much as you can, or, just let us have your mobile ‘phone number and first name for a call back.

Your contact details are important to allow FAST investigators to contact you should further information be required. Should you have any queries, please e-mail fast@fast.org or make a report online.