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By | Paul Kunert 26th June 2013 11:04

'Do the right thing and tell on a pirate' - software bods

Anti-piracy organ launches roadshow in a town near you...if you live in Bristol

Anyone in the West Country yearning to dob in a work colleague for illegally downloading software should take heart that a Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) roadshow is coming to a town near you.

An anti-piracy whistleblower campaign is kicking off in cider country next month, starting at an event in Bristol where FAST, local police and trading standards officers talk up the "Software - Stay Legal" programme.

One in four programs installed on a machine by the good people of Blighty is pirated, says FAST, a not-for-profit organisation comprised of independent software vendors, resellers, distributors and consultancies in the software market.

The commercial value of this equates to £1.5bn annually, claimed FAST chief executive Alex Hilton, and this is cash he reckoned is "taken out of investment, taken out of tax receipts and taken out of job creation".

"We are talking about staying on the right side of the law as well as saving money. A company would not drive a fleet of untaxed vehicles without expecting to be caught and the same can be said for illegal software."

Well quite.

FAST does not and has not offered cash bungs to whistleblowers - the BSA does offer a financial incentive - so it is rather hoping to find anti-piracy warriors among the workforce of British firms.

A mouthpiece at FAST told us that "staff are motivated to blow the whistle to limit their potential exposure to criminal offences and to 'do the right thing'." ®

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