FAST launches Incentive Payment Agreement to reward whistle blowers
25th October 2016
Financial incentive offered for reporting intentional software misuse – a first for FAST
The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has unveiled a new Incentive Payment Agreement for whistle blowers reporting the use of unauthorised historic use of its members’ software and/or services.
This is the first time FAST has rewarded whistle blowers. Under the terms of the Incentive Payment Agreement, if a report leads to the successful identification of illegal software use then the whistle blower will receive a payment calculated at five per cent of the illegal historic use payment.
Alex Hilton, CEO of FAST, stated: “Piracy figures are slowly declining in the UK, but there is still a hard core of users who are intentionally using unlicensed software. We have just announced a new damages programme – the stick in this equation – and now we are offering a carrot to those individuals who know that the organisations they are working for are intentionally misusing software.
“We know that in the vast majority of cases where we come across under-licensing in business, that this is often the result of oversight and in those cases we work with them to ensure that their software estates are compliant. However, we want to make it very clear to those company bosses who are deliberately ignoring their software licensing responsibilities: we are coming after you with a big financial stick. Furthermore, we are now encouraging your employees, whose voices have been ignored or silenced, to act morally and ethically and to make the anonymous report.”
Under the Agreement a whistle blower can report illegal software use to FAST via its hotline or website, submitting a report that clearly demonstrates end user illegal software use that FAST can act on.
If the report itself is found to be accurate and FAST is successful in concluding the case, including retrospective licensing fees (the monies liable to be paid to FAST for the unauthorised historic use of its members’ software), then the whistle blower will be rewarded.
“Our aim is to reduce the illegal copying and use of software without the permission of the intellectual property owner. This has been the goal of FAST since its inception – ensuring that software developers of all sizes are paid for their work in order to continue to innovate with new software solutions and services. Over the past few years we have had real success with the existing whistle blower programme, but it is our belief that this new scheme – when seen in conjunction with our damages programme – will send a very clear, very loud, and unambiguous message to those who intentionally misuse software,” concluded Alex.