4,500 new trading standards officers are to be given powers in the UK to check businesses' compliance with software licencing laws from April 2007. The new powers come under the Designs & Patents Act, 1988 and are likely to result in court appearances for those not in compliance.
Businesses are therefore advised to check that not only are their software licences in order but also to make sure that they only buy new software from reputable suppliers. Alternatively, they could try open source alternatives - Open Office is the open source alternative to Microsoft Office for example.
Read more about the 'software copyright police'.