Microsoft has decided to discontinue its relationship with the Federation Against Software Theft (Fast)in favour of global piracy investigator Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Sharon Bailey, a manager covering software theft at Microsoft UK, said: ?We?ve spent a lot of time in the anti-piracy area. We just got to the review time of the year and in the light of more international software piracy, we decided to continue with the BSA because they are a global organisation.?
The news will come as a blow to Fast which, this time last year, lost Novell as one of its affiliates. Martin Smith, in charge of investigation at Novell UK, said his company had terminated its agreement with Fast this time last year.
He said that Novell had switched to the BSA for much the same reason as Microsoft - because of increased software piracy across national boundaries. The industry had expected Microsoft to withdraw from Fast for some months.
Fast was set up by Microsoft 10 years ago by the then managing director, David Fraser. Both Bailey and Smith refused to comment on its future viability. Microsoft will continue to cooperate with Fast and the company denied that it had withdrawn from the organisation because ?it had not got its own way? about the way things were done. Microsoft refused to reveal how much it had contributed to Fast in the past.
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