A campaign against unlicensed software has been launched by the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST).


It claims that employees are being pressurised by employers to install software without a licence, and the campaign aims to encourage people to report such behaviour, while promoting the availability of professional support and advice.

Recent research by IDC found that illegal software use in the UK is around 27 per cent. Research from the Software Industry Research Board, part of FAST, found that only 48 per cent of general management staff in larger enterprises believed that compliance was a risk to their organisation.

John Lovelock, chief executive of FAST, said: “The amount of lost revenue is utterly outrageous, especially considering the recession. The bottom line is if a software application doesn't have a licence number, or if the licence only entitles its use for an individual machine but is being copied and installed on multiple computers, then it is illegal.


“The message is clear and unwavering: any UK employer asking or encouraging staff to install illegal software is now at risk. We want people in IT to know there is support and the means to combat any illegal behaviour by contacting us, and have protection in law under the Public Interest and Disclosure Act 1998 (Whistleblower Act). We hope that by raising awareness of the laws protecting employees, the number willing to blow the whistle will increase.”