About The Federation Against Software Theft | FAST

About The Federation Against Software Theft

The Federation Against Software Theft was formed in 1984 and was the world’s first organisation to promote the legal use of software and to defend the intellectual property rights of software publishers. Since our first success in changing the law to include ‘software’ into the Copyright Act 1956, the Federation has continued to lobby government to bring forward legislation to increase the protection of intellectual property in software and to make it easier and less costly for software developers to pursue their rights through the courts.   In conjunction with this, we work to raise awareness of the value of intellectual property to the UK economy in both revenue and employment.

Originally known colloquially as ‘the software police’ because of its anti-piracy work, the Federation’s remit expanded into educating end-users about the laws relating to the use of software and the penalties for disregarding them.

The Federation works with its members, law enforcement communities (trading standards officers and local police forces), to detect and combat the sale of infringing software and also helps organisations regularise their software estates when reports of possible misuse or under-licensing have been received about them.

The Federation is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members.