A focal point of BSA’s enforcement efforts is its ongoing engagement with governments aimed at reducing unlicensed software use in critical markets around the world.
BSA believes there are five key elements governments must implement in order to reduce unlicensed software use in their respective countries:
- Increase Public Education and Awareness: Governments can increase public awareness of the importance of respecting creative works by informing businesses and the public at large about the risks associated with using pirated software, while encouraging and rewarding the use of legitimate products.
- Implement WIPO Copyright Treaty Obligations: Around the world, copyright and other intellectual property laws have lagged behind the pace of technology innovation. With the advent of cloud computing and the proliferation of networked mobile devices, policymakers should modernize protections for software and other copyrighted materials.
- Create Strong and Workable Enforcement Mechanisms: Strong copyright laws are essential but meaningless without effective enforcement. Governments must fulfill their obligations under the WTO’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement by adopting and implementing laws that meet international norms for IP rights protection.
- Step-Up Enforcement with Dedicated Resources: Too often, the punishment associated with unlicensed software crimes are too insignificant to be deemed an effective deterrent for software pirates. Countries can elevate their enforcement of intellectual property by:
- Creating specialized intellectual property enforcement units at the national and local level and providing dedicated resources to investigate and prosecute intellectual property theft;
- Increasing cross-border cooperation among police and other enforcement agencies to improve coordination for law enforcement in multiple countries;
- Supporting the training of law enforcement and judiciary officials (including establishment of specialized IP courts where appropriate) and providing better technical assistance to ensure that those on the front lines of intellectual property protection are equipped with the tools needed to deal effectively with the changing nature of intellectual property theft.
- Lead by Example: Because governments are the largest users of software in the world, implementing a government-wide “zero-tolerance for pirated software” policy is one of the most effective mechanisms available to persuade the public to take this critical issue seriously. This can be achieved by implementing software asset management policies as an example for the private sector to follow.
Snapshot of BSA Regional Government Campaigns
Public Awareness Campaigns:
BSA works with national and local governments on government-branded campaigns aimed at raising public awareness about the legal and economic implications associated with software theft. Such programs can be highly effective in changing cultural perceptions of unlicensed software use for both businesses and consumers. Below is a sample of our initiatives:
- Brazil: In Brazil, BSA collaborates with the local government through its formal induction as a member of the National Council Against Piracy (CNCP). The CNCP oversees the creation of policies on software use and actively promotes discussion between the government and private entities regarding IP rights.
- China: In late 2012, BSA was invited by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to deliver a presentation on the key findings of a research paper on the Security Risks of Pirated Software. The audience was comprised of over 100 IT managers from provincial rural credit cooperatives, rural commercial banks, financial capital management companies and trust companies, with responsibilities over software deployment and legalization.
- Malaysia: BSA has worked closely with the government of Malaysia for over 20 years to help drive down the use of unlicensed software. Through a strategic alliance with the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, numerous joint branded awareness programs have been implemented – most notably the “Ops Tulen,” a campaign targeted to eradicate software theft and counterfeit goods. In the past decade alone, the Enforcement Division of the Ministry has conducted 353 raids against corporate end-user pirates, resulting in software and hardware seizures valued at over US$55 million.
- Mexico: In collaboration with the Mexican government, BSA assisted the Ministry of Economy in becoming the first government body in the world to earn BSA’s Certification in Standards-based SAM for Organizations, known as CSS(O).
- Poland: Following the successful implementation of BSA’s Software Asset Management (SAM) practices by the Polish Ministry of Economy, the Ministry, together with BSA and the National Chamber of Commerce, initiated the “Zrob-to-SAM(o)” (“Do-the SAM(e)”) campaign. The objective of the campaign is to promote the benefits of SAM practices throughout Poland.
- Turkey: Since 2009 BSA has collaborated with the Turkish Police on a jointly-branded advertising initiative to remind businesses of the risks associated with illegal software use.