Federation Against Software Theft


The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is a UK-based organization that aims to combat software piracy and uphold the legal recognition of software and intellectual property rights. Established in 1984, it works closely with businesses and consumers to promote understanding and adherence to copyright laws. FAST also collaborates with legal bodies and the police to identify and penalize copyright infringements.


The phonetic pronunciation is: Federation: /ˌfedəˈrāSH(ə)n/Against: /əˈɡenst/Software: /ˈsôf(t)ˌwer/Theft: /theft/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>The Federation Against Software Theft, commonly known as FAST, is an international organisation established in 1984, with a mission to fight software piracy and uphold copyright law. It works with businesses and individuals to ensure responsible use and management of software through awareness, education, and legal enforcement.</li><li>FAST takes an active role in lobbying for stronger intellectual property rights and protection on a global scale. It seeks legislative changes that favour software creators, particularly in relation to copyright laws, and tries to influence government decisions regarding software piracy and the implications of intellectual property infringement.</li><li>Through its membership and partnership programs, FAST provides valuable resources to software developers and businesses. These include legal advice, informative seminars, certification schemes, and a platform for networking and collaboration. These resources are designed to ensure all stakeholders understand their rights and responsibilities, and promote a fair and competitive marketplace for software goods and services.</li></ol>


The Federation Against Software Theft, often abbreviated as FAST, is a key term in technology due to its pivotal role in combating software piracy and maintaining a lawful digital environment. Founded in 1984, FAST is the longest running software anti-piracy organization in the UK and works to uphold copyright laws, educate the public, and lobby for stronger legislation. Its importance lies in promoting fair competition in the software industry by safeguarding intellectual property rights of software developers and vendors, which in turn spurs innovation and contributes to economic growth. Additionally, the organization helps to ensure businesses and consumers use authentic software, thereby preventing potential security issues associated with using pirated versions. The existence and actions of FAST underline the significance of legal software usage and the need to respect creators’ rights.


The Federation Against Software Theft, commonly referred to as FAST, serves a pivotal role in the digital realm. Its primary purpose is to uphold the rights of software developers and protect them from the unauthorized use, manipulation, and distribution of their work. It aims at fostering a safer and legally respectful environment for intellectual property rights relevant to software. As a not-for-profit organization, FAST represents the concerns of those who craft software, ensuring their products’ fair usage and discouraging piracy that can cost developers both in time and revenue.FAST channels its efforts towards educating both the public and businesses about the consequences of software theft and the importance of adhering to relevant licensing agreements. It also assists in legal proceedings against instances of infringement, providing resources and support to those whose rights have been infringed upon. By advocating strict software compliances and licenses management, FAST essentially promotes an ethical approach toward software acquisition and use, which benefits both the software industry and end-users.


1. Case of Martin Audio Ltd: The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) had a significant role in the case of Martin Audio Ltd, a UK-based music equipment maker. The company was raided in 2007, after an ex-employee reported that it was using unlicensed software. The legal action taken by FAST resulted in the company having to settle a significant financial sum and highlighted the potential repercussions of unlicensed software usage. 2. Education Sector Involvement: In recent years, FAST has stepped up its partnerships with educational institutions to heighten awareness and foster respect for Intellectual Property rights among young people. They have worked with secondary schools, colleges, and universities, organizing seminars and workshops on software piracy, copyright laws, and the importance of using licensed software.3. Involvement with UK Government: In 2006, the UK Government allied with FAST in order to address the issue of pirated and counterfeit software. This involved working with the government to establish new rules and guidelines regarding the use of software in public offices, as well as conducting regular checks to ensure all software in use was duly licensed. This alliance showcased the influence and impact of FAST in even the highest levels of society.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q: What is the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST)?A: The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) is an international organization established in 1984 that promotes legal software use and protects the rights of software developers.Q: What are the main objectives of Federation Against Software Theft?A: The main objectives of FAST are to discourage software piracy and illegal copying, educate businesses and individuals about software licensing and intellectual property rights, support law enforcement agencies with expertise and resources, and lobby for effective copyright legislation.Q: How does FAST fight against software theft?A: FAST fights software theft by promoting legal software use, offering advice about copyright and software licensing, supporting law enforcement with in-depth investigation resources, and influencing and shaping copyright legislation.Q: Is FAST a governmental organization?A: No, FAST is an independent, non-profit organization. However, it works closely with governmental bodies to shape effective copyright laws.Q: How do I report software piracy to FAST?A: You can report any concerns or information you have about software piracy directly to FAST through their official website. Q: What benefits does an organization get by becoming a member of FAST?A: Members get access to resources and guidance on software license compliance, networking opportunities, representation in legislative matters, and the use of the FAST logo, which signifies their commitment to legal software use.Q: Who can become a member of FAST?A: Any organization, regardless of its size or sector, can become a member of FAST. It’s particularly beneficial for software developers and businesses that make significant use of software in their operations.

Related Finance Terms

  • Software piracy
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Copyright infringement
  • Digital law enforcement
  • Unauthorized replication

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