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DEC 21, 2016 | MALAYSIA

Director for Enforcement Serves Fair Warning to Companies Insistent on Using Pirated Software in Business

Total of RM11 million worth of computers and pirated software seized in 72 raids undertaken across the country in 2016. Companies told to be vigilant against growing cyber security threats by using original and licensed software.

Putrajaya (Wednesday, December 21, 2016) – Companies insistent on using pirated and unlicensed software in business have been given fair warning, cautioned Mohd Roslan bin Mahayudin who heads the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism’s (“MDTCC”) Enforcement Division.

In a statement to media, Mohd Roslan said that a total of 72 enforcement actions or raids had been conducted by the Enforcement Division of the MDTCC in 2016.

Mohd Roslan emphasized that “The raids reflected the seriousness of the criminal offences committed by the increasing number of corporate software pirates in the country, and are set to continue as long as it is necessary to drive home the message that it is illegal to use pirated and unlicensed software in business.”

“Companies with little or no regard for intellectual property rights do not have a place in Malaysia’s business environment, and the Enforcement Division of the MDTCC will do everything within its power to ensure they are brought to justice.”

As a consequence of the 72 raids conducted this year, a total of 233 computers and peripherals (worth about RM699,000), together with 879 copies of suspected pirated software (worth about RM10.3 million) were seized, making the combined total seizure valued at RM11.03 million.

Mohd Roslan added, “The total value of software seized seems to be on significant increase, as this year is the third consecutive year the seizure value of computers and pirated software have surpassed the RM10 million mark. This certainly does not auger well for Malaysia despite recording its lowest rate for unlicensed software use ever at 53 percent.”

“Of the 72 enforcement actions conducted, Selangor recorded the highest number of enforcement actions conducted with 24, with seizures totaling RM2.8 million. This is followed by Johor with 13 raids (with seizures valued at RM3.2 million), Penang with 12 raids (with seizures valued at RM1.6 million), Kedah with six raids (with seizures valued at RM1.08 million), Melaka with six raids (with seizures valued at RM1.08 million), Perak with six raids (with seizures valued at RM867,000), Negeri Sembilan with two raids (with seizures valued at RM189,000), Pahang with two raids (with seizures valued at RM140,000), and Kuala Lumpur with one raid (with seizures valued at 51,000),” noted Mohd Roslan.

All the suspected pirated software found and seized were business productivity software belonging to members of BSA | The Software Alliance (“BSA”).

Mohd Roslan emphasized that the enforcement actions/raids were conducted under the purview of the Copyright Act 1987, which prohibits the use of pirated software in business. According to the Act, if an organization is found guilty of the use or is in possession of pirated or unlicensed software, the organization and its director/s and senior management are liable to a fine of between RM2,000 and RM20,000 for each infringing copy of software, and/or a prison sentence of up to five years.

“While no specific industry was targeted, it is interesting to note that many of the raids conducted were against businesses whose own survival depended on the development and protection of their own intellectual property. These included (but was not limited to), architecture, interior design, furniture making, construction, precision engineering, metal and mould fabricating, land surveying, video graphics and animation, property developing, landscaping, plastic component manufacturing, etc.,” explained Mohd Roslan.

“It is ironic these businesses would do everything in their power to protect their own creative works, but do not think twice about infringing the intellectual property rights of software owners,” lamented Mohd Roslan.

Tarun Sawney, Senior Director for Asia-Pacific at BSA, applauded Mohd Roslan and his team of enforcement officers for their hard work in advancing intellectual property rights in the country.

Sawney said, “Malware infections can cause significant harm, and organizations continue to struggle with how best to protect themselves. A global study by IDC has shown that the link between unlicensed software use and malware is real, and good software management is a critical first step to reducing cybersecurity risks. The use of unlicensed software exposes businesses and consumers to significant security risks, besides the legal risks of being caught by the authorities. If left unchecked, cybersecurity risks can escalate into a national concern where our country’s intellectual property assets and economy may come under threat.”

“The BSA, with the support of the MDTCC, has been running a program – Software Watch by BSA – aimed at educating senior managers on the benefits of implementing a software asset management policy in their business. This on-going program is FREE to the public. I urge corporate Malaysia to take immediate proactive action. Do not let your business be a victim of a cybersecurity breach by allowing the use of pirated and unlicensed software in your organization.”

“For more information, assistance and/or participation in the MDTCC supported – Software Watch by BSA – please visit www.mysoftwarewatch.org, or call the program secretariat at 03-27803803,” Sawney concluded.

About BSA | The Software Alliance

BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.

About the BSA Anti-piracy Hotline

In complementing the enforcement efforts of the MDTCC against software piracy, BSA accepts reports on the use of pirated or unlicensed software in organizations at www.bsa.org and/or www.facebook.com/bsamalaysiagenuine. Reports can also be made through the BSA toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-800. BSA provides a reward of up to RM20,000* for any information that results in a successful enforcement action.

* Terms and Conditions Apply

Media Contact

Name: Ching Yee Sing(m): 012 340 1816(e): chingyeesing@wysecomm.com

ABOUT BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.

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