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Fasthosts reveals half of web designers work with unlicensed software


Fasthosts Internet Ltd, a leading web hosting provider, has released new research which reveals that a large number of web professionals are using unlicensed or pirated software to create websites.

The poll of 500 web designers conducted with .NET magazine found that more than half of web designers and developers admit to having worked in an environment where they used unlicensed web design software. As licences for web design software can often cost small agencies thousands of pounds, recent economic pressures are a likely factor in the problem.

Fasthosts recently announced its work with Microsoft to promote the WebsiteSpark program - an initiative that provides eligible users with free licenses for Microsoft Expression and Visual Studio software. The initiative is a good example of how web professionals can access software through legitimate schemes and so avoid the risks of using unlicensed software.

According to Fasthosts’ survey of 546 .NET magazine readers, the use of unlicensed software by web professionals is rife in the UK. 59% of those surveyed have placed themselves, their colleagues and their work at risk by using unlicensed software to create websites. If a worker uses software without a license number, or if the license only entitles its use for an individual machine and it is copied and installed on multiple computers, the company is likely to be breaking the law - often punishable with a substantial fine. There is also strong evidence that the use of unlicensed software can be a false economy - users often face bugs and do not benefit from access to support services which can result in downtime and delays.

Steve Holford, CMO Fasthosts Internet Ltd., said, “Great web projects can often rely on the latest software and at times businesses may be tempted to cut corners with their software licenses. Web designers should not struggle with sub-standard software or more importantly jeopardise their future by using illegal software”.

FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) has an ’employee whistle-blowing’ campaign to tackle employers who pressurise staff into installing illegal software. John Lovelock, Chief Executive of FAST, commented, “The software industry is a vital part of the economy and deserves the same protection as counterfeit consumer goods. We want workers to know there is support and the means to combat any illegal behaviour by contacting us via the Fasthosts, and have protection in law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (Whistleblower Act). We hope that by raising awareness of the laws protecting employees, the number willing to blow the whistle will increase and reduce the illegal use of software,” added Lovelock.

Nowadays there are industry schemes that can provide eligible web pros with free access to fully licensed professional software. For example, Microsoft’s WebsiteSpark program offers support for web design and development agencies with up to 10 employees. Eligible Fasthosts customers gain an immediate financial benefit - saving £240 per year with a free Windows Server license and saving even more with a free MSSQL license. Upon enrolment, members gain access to free Windows Expression Studio 2 (1 user license), Expression Web 2 (2 user licenses), Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition (3 user licenses) and DotNetPanel control panel.

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About Fasthosts
Fasthosts is a leading web hosting provider. Based in the UK and operating 24x7 from their dedicated UK data centres, Fasthosts keeps over 1 million domains running smoothly and ensures over 6 million emails are delivered safely each day. All Fasthosts services can be self-managed through the award winning Fasthosts web-based control panel that provides customers with unparalleled online control, enabling them to manage hosted services including domain registrations, shared web hosting, business-class email, dedicated servers, software-as-a-service, internet merchant accounts and unlimited broadband. Fasthosts’ highly successful reseller channel has recently been rated Number 1 for reseller hosting by industry portal Web Host Directory.

PR Contact:
Richard Stevenson
Discovery House
154 Southgate Street
+44 (0)1452 561 857


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