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MAR 17, 2016 | MALAYSIA

RECORD 84 RAIDS AGAINST BUSINESSES USING UNLICENSED SOFTWARE IN 2015

Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism enforcement division seizures valued at RM16.2 million in the wake of mounting cyber security threat.

Shah Alam (Thursday, March 17, 2016) —

It was another record year for software piracy-related enforcement actions conducted by the Enforcement Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (“MDTCC”), according to its Director of Enforcement, Mohd Roslan bin Mahayudin.

Speaking at a Joint BSA/MDTCC news conference held this afternoon in Shah Alam, Selangor, Mohd Roslan said that the enforcement actions conducted in 2015 reflected the seriousness of the nature of the offences committed by an increasing number of corporate software pirates in the country who have little respect for intellectual property rights.

According to Mohd Roslan, the Enforcement Division of the MDTCC conducted a total of 84 enforcement actions in 2015, resulting in the seizures of 259 computers and peripherals (worth about RM777,000), together with 1,359 copies of suspected pirated software (worth about RM15.4 million). This makes a combined total seizure value at RM16.2 million.

Mohd Roslan said, “It is significant to note that the total value of software seized seems to be on the increase, as exemplified by 2 raids conducted during the year where the total value of the suspected pirated software found reached the million ringgit mark.”

“The first was a raid conducted on October 8, 2015, in Bayan Lepas (Penang), against an engineering company where the suspected unlicensed software found was valued at RM1 million. The second, was a raid conducted on October 29, 2014 in Petaling Jaya (Selangor), against an interior design firm where another RM1 million worth of suspected unlicensed software were found.”

“Of the 84 enforcement actions conducted, Selangor recorded the highest number of enforcement actions conducted with 26, with seizures totaling RM5 million. This is followed by Kuala Lumpur with 15 raids (with seizures valued at RM3.1 million), Perak with 13 raids (with seizures valued at RM668,800), Penang with 12 raids (with seizures valued at RM3.3 million), Johor with 8 raids (with seizures valued at RM1.9 million), Sarawak with 4 raids (with seizures valued at RM955,700), Melaka with 3 raids (with seizures valued at RM656,600), Kedah with 2 raids (with seizures valued at RM252,000), and Negeri Sembilan with 1 raid (with seizures valued at RM168,600),” Mohd Roslan noted.

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 by the Ministry, 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), interior design, plastic component manufacturing, architecture, PR retailing, land surveying, furniture manufacturing, animation, advertising, design and printing, event management, landscaping, professional services, mould making, metal engineering die casting, trading, precision engineering, and town planning,” Mohd Roslan explained.

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

Speaking on behalf of BSA, Senior Director – Compliance Programs, Asia-Pacific, Roland Chan applauded Mohd Roslan and his team of enforcement officers for their hard work in advancing intellectual property rights in the country through vigilant enforcement

Chan said, “Malware infections can cause significant harm, and organizations are struggling with how best to protect themselves. A global study by IDC has shown that the link between unlicensed software use and malware is real, meaning 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 could become under threat.”

“In order to further promote the use of licensed software in the workplace, BSA has launched a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bsamalaysiagenuine, in supporting the continued 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 to educate themselves about the benefits of using licensed software, as well as learn about how to reduce the growing threat of cybercrime,” 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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