DEC 04, 2015 | MALAYSIA
ALMOST RM700,000 WORTH OF COMPUTERS AND SUSPECTED UNLICENSED SOFTWARE SEIZED FROM RAID CONDUCTED AGAINST PRECISION ENGINEERING COMPANY
Weekly random checks on businesses to ensure compliance with Copyright Act of 1987 being scheduled.
Georgetown, Penang (Friday, December 4, 2015) –
Penang-based businesses have been warned against using unlicensed and/or pirated software, or risk facing the consequences of possible hefty fines and even jail time. This warning was issued by Suhaimi bin Mat Sari, Chief Enforcement Officer of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism’s (“MDTCC”) Penang branch office at a news conference held this morning to announce a recent enforcement action conducted against a Bayan Lepas-based precision engineering company for using unlicensed software in its daily business operations.
Speaking at the news conference Suhaimi said that the enforcement action was conducted on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 following a tip-off from BSA | The Software Alliance (“BSA”).
“Seven enforcement officers together with three representatives from BSA were assembled for the task, on the said morning. The team entered the premises of the said company at 3.00 pm, after obtaining a court warrant from the Georgetown Magistrate Court. Upon examination of the many computers within the premises, enforcement officers discovered that the company in question was using suspected pirated software to conduct its business operation. As a consequence, enforcement officers seized 4 computers together with peripherals; along with 27 copies of suspected unlicensed software for further investigations. The total value of seizure amounted to approximately RM695,800.”
Suhaimi reiterated the Ministry’s strong stand against the use of pirated and/or unlicensed software in business, and added, “Software piracy is a serious matter that must be dealt with sternly. Companies who break the law, must face the consequences.”
In a pro-active effort to stem the rising tide of corporate software pirates in the state, Suhaimi announced that the MDTCC Penang branch office will begin making weekly random checks on businesses in the state to ensure compliance with the Copyright Act of 1987.
“It remains the responsibility of senior management to ensure that the organization and its staff use only original and/or licensed software. Failure to do so would mean that the management and the company are in violation of the Copyright Act 1987, and if found guilty in a court of law, the company and its directors can be fined between RM2,000 and RM20,000 for each illegal copy of software found. Additionally, company directors and/or senior management may also face imprisonment of up to five years,” Suhaimi emphasized.
In a separate statement to media, Roland Chan, BSA Senior Director – Compliance Programs, Asia-Pacific, applauded the MDTCC Penang branch office for their quick and decisive action resulting in the significant seizures of computers and suspected illegal software.
Chan said, “We are highly appreciative of the strong actions by the Ministry in their efforts to promote intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in Malaysia. An IDC research study released earlier this year had shown a high correlation between rates of unlicensed software installations and malware infections. The use of unlicensed software exposes businesses and consumers to significant security risks, besides the legal risks of being caught by the authorities. Legal software is simply more reliable and secure, maximizes productivity, and decreases risk.”
“The recent launch of BSA Malaysia’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bsamalaysiagenuine is yet another initiative by BSA to support the continuing efforts of the Malaysia government in promoting IPR. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage members of the public to visit the BSA Malaysia Facebook page regularly to update themselves on the many facets of software copyright issues,” Chan concluded.
About the BSA Anti-piracy Hotline
In complementing the enforcement efforts of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism against software piracy, BSA accepts reports on the use of pirated or unlicensed software in organizations at www.bsa.org 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
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 around the world, 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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