The Metropolitan Police and Trading Standards have conducted the first anti-piracy raid under new powers of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.
Under section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 implemented in April 2007, trading standards cautioned and questioned an East London man over the sales of unauthorised copies of high value flight simulation software imported from a general trading company based in Hong Kong.
The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), working on behalf of one of its members, supplied detailed information on the individual who was selling what appeared to be unlawful copies of software from his home address.
The suspect was tracked by the software vendor and was told to cease the sales. Only this warning was ignored did the vendor escalate the action to FAST who assisted Trading Standards in securing the warrant for Trading Standards and police to enter the premises.
A spokesperson for Trading Standards explained: “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.”
John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST explained: “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 allows inspection of premises whenever they suspect illegal copyright activity is being conducted.
“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.”