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MAY 31, 2017 | MALAYSIA

INFORMANT RECEIVES RM20,000 REWARD FROM BSA FOR REPORTING THE ILLEGAL USE OF UNLICENSED SOFTWARE

Action led to the seizure of RM762,000 worth of computer equipment, peripherals, and suspected illegal software from precision engineering company in Kuching, Sarawak on October 20, 2015.

Kuala Lumpur, May 31, 2017 – BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) today presented RM20,000 as reward to an informant who provided BSA with information which led to a successful raid against a Sarawak-based precision engineering company in Kuching for their suspected illegally using unlicensed software in the course of conducting their business.

Four computers along with 40 copies of suspected illegal software, with an estimated combined (hardware and software) value of RM762,000 were seized during the enforcement action carried out by the enforcement division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) in Kuching, Sarawak, in October 25, 2015.

Among the suspected illegally installed software found during the raid was software from Adobe, Autodesk, CNC Engineering, Dassault Systèmes, and Microsoft, all members of BSA.

Speaking to the media at the cheque presentation ceremony, Gary Gan (), Director – Compliance Programs, Asia Pacific, BSA said, “BSA applauds this gentleman for coming forward to report the company for their illegal and unethical practice. The use of software without proper licences in the course of conducting business is against the law in Malaysia. If found guilty in a court of law, the business and/or its senior management or directors are liable to a fine of between RM2,000 and RM20,000 for each infringing copy of software and/or up to five years’ jail. Concurrently, offenders may also face possible civil suits by the copyright owners.”

According to Gan, BSA has initiated a total of 21 enforcement actions on companies suspected of using unlicensed software since the beginning of the year. “Every lead BSA receives on the potential use of illegal unlicensed software in business stands to receive a reward. Up to RM20,000 is payable for each successful raid conducted, depending on the size of the business, the seizure, and the value of infringing software.”

Speaking to the media on his role in the case, Mohd Riduan (not his real name) says, “I was hired as the company’s CAD designer, but I was not given the necessary CAD software to do my job. When I approached the owner about the problem, he just brushed it off and told me to download whatever software I needed from the Internet.”

“As a result of using pirated software, the computer would crash and I had to redo my work from scratch as I was unable to save my work. When I tried to explain to the owner, he refused to listen and blamed it on my inefficiency. I want to let employers know that they cannot short change their staff by forcing them to use pirated software. By doing this interview, I also hope staff will know they can take matters into their own hands by reporting the company. This will ensure companies revert to using original software,” adds Mohd Riduan.

Also present to witness the event was MDTCC’s Director for Enforcement, Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Mohd Roslan bin Mahayudin.

Congratulating the informant, Dato’ Roslan said, “It takes a lot of courage for someone to lodge a report against a company for using pirated software. More people should emulate this gentleman and come forward to report such recalcitrant companies. For years, the Ministry has warned company directors and senior management to uphold and practise good business ethics including respecting the intellectual property rights of software owners. It is a criminal offence to use pirated software in a business, yet the management of this particular company chose not to heed the warnings of the Ministry. As a consequence of their own irresponsible attitude and defiance, they now have to face the full consequence of the law.

“From the 21 enforcement actions conducted year to date, a total of 51 computers, along with 555 copies of suspected pirated software, worth a combined (hardware and software) estimated value of RM4.6 million have been seized,” adds Dato’ Roslan.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public enforcement actions on businesses using pirated software will continue unabated. We will continue to work together with BSA to ensure Malaysia become a software piracy-free haven,” concludes Dato’ Roslan.

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 BSA’s RM20,000 Reward Program

Complementing the enforcement efforts of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism against the illegal use of software, BSA operates a toll-free “anti-piracy” hotline number 1-800-887-800 for reports on the illegal use of unlicensed software in organizations. Reports can also be made online at www.bsa.org/malaysia. BSA provides a reward of up to RM20,000* for any information that results in successful enforcement action. All reports made are kept in the strictest confidence.

* Terms and Conditions Apply

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