“ Education officers in Wirral were contacted by solicitors representing a pair of teenagers who are still at school. They were demanding to know why there parents had not been prosecuted for allowing them to truant”
Law firms are being advised to alert clients, and their own staff, to the dangers of having illegal copyright material on PCs, following the introduction of tougher regulations.
The Copyright, etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002, passed last month to amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, gives the police power to secure warrants to search, and seize property from any business they believe is using unlicensed software. Previous powers limited searches to traders and importers of illegal material.
The term 'illegal software' does not only cover pirate copies, but also unlicensed duplicates downloaded onto PCs.
Whether you are an ISP, a VISP or a web host or merely providing chat room or discussion group facilities on your web site, there is a risk that you could be liable for material posted by third parties.