FAST welcomes the implementation of the Intellectual Property Act 2014

02 Oct, 2014

Vital exception for the software industry secured by FAST

The Federation Against Software Theft has welcomed new measures that will modernise the intellectual property (IP) framework that come into force today.

Alex Hilton, CEO, FAST, stated: “Copyright law moves with the times. This includes changes which will allow people greater freedom to enjoy content they have bought a license 1 October 2014. This allows them to make personal copies strictly for their own private use. Prior to this change, it was illegal to copy music from a CD to an MP3 player,”

“FAST played an important role in framing the new reforms to fit with European law specifically for the software industry specifically, securing a vital change to maintain clarity that software exceptions regime, which works, remains in place unaffected.

Julian Heathcote Hobbins, General Counsel, FAST, explained: “The focus of the Hargreaves Report and of Modernising Copyright was on making the law correspond to what buyers of digital content expect and consumers of such content appeared to be already doing. The objective of the proposed copyright exception is to enable people to have further flexibility in a variety of different environments. There was no reference to software per se and therefore that the application of the exception to software could have had unintended consequences.”

FAST contended that software is unique. Having had its own rules since 1991 the original draft of the legislation would have caused confusion.

Alex Hilton, CEO, FAST, added: “The law of unintended consequences then comes to the fore! This commercial risk could have seen increased prices and ambiguity which we felt would not benefit either the software manufacturer or the user.”

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