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AUG 05, 2016 | MALAYSIA

RM143,000 WORTH OF COMPUTERS AND SUSPECTED UNLICENSED SOFTWARE SEIZED FROM RAIDS CONDUCTED AGAINST THREE PENANG-BASED COMPANIES

Businesses warned against flouting the law, using unlicensed and/or pirated software in their business operations.

Georgetown, Penang (Friday, August 5, 2016) –

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 recent enforcement actions conducted against three Penang-based businesses for using unlicensed software in its daily business operations.Speaking at the news conference held at the MDTCC Penang branch office, Suhaimi said that the enforcement actions were conducted consecutively on 3rd and 4th of August, 2016, following information received from BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA).“The first enforcement action was conducted on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, by a team of 5 MDTCC enforcement officers together with 5 representatives from BSA. The team entered the premises of a furniture maker in Batu Maung at 2.00 pm, after obtaining a court warrant from the Georgetown Magistrate Court. Upon examination of the many computers within the premises, MDTCC enforcement officers discovered that the company in question was using suspected unlicensed and/or pirated software to conduct its business operation. As a consequence, MDTCC enforcement officers seized 3 computers together with peripherals; along with 10 copies of suspected unlicensed software for further investigations. The total value of seizure amounted to approximately RM99,000.”“Two enforcement actions were conducted simultaneously yesterday (Thursday, August 4, 2016), by MDTCC enforcement officers from the MDTCC Seberang Prai branch office targeting an electrical and construction company and an engineering company, both located in Seberang Prai Tengah. Seizures resultant of the two enforcement actions conducted include 3 computers together with peripherals; along with 5 copies of suspected unlicensed software, amounting to about RM44,000.”Amongst the many copies of suspected unlicensed software found were software belonging to Adobe, Autodesk, and Microsoft - all of which are members of BSA.Suhaimi reiterated the Ministry’s strong stand against the using 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.”“Senior managers of companies need be reminded that it remains their responsibility to ensure that their organization and their staff use only original and/or licensed software in their office premises. Failure to do so would mean that they (the management) and the company are in violation of theCopyright Act 1987, and if found guilty in a court of law, they and the company are liable for a fine of between RM2,000 and RM20,000 for each illegal copy of software found. Additionally, as senior managers of the company, they may also face imprisonment of up to five years,” Suhaimi emphasized.In a separate statement to media, BSA’s Senior Director, Asia-Pacific, Tarun Sawney applauded the MDTCC Penang branch office for their quick and decisive action resulting in the significant seizures of computers and suspected illegal software.Sawney said, “We are highly appreciative of the strong actions by the enforcement officers of the MDTCC in their efforts to promote intellectual property rights (IPR) protection in Malaysia.Sawney adds that the recent Global Software Survey conducted by IDC and released by BSA, noted that computers users in Malaysia continue to use unlicensed software at an alarming rate, despite the risks of cyberattacks associated with its use.“The survey entitled, “Seizing Opportunity Through License Compliance,” noted that in Malaysia, the rate of unlicensed software use in 2015 was 53 percent. This was despite the fact that there was a strong correlation between the use of unlicensed software and exposing ones computer to malware.”“Cybercrime is real, is on the rise, and it transcends borders. Business owners must be vigilant to protect themselves and their businesses from the growing threats of malware and data theft by adopting an effective and efficient software license management practice. This year, the BSA, with the support of the MDTCC, is running a corporate educational program – Software Watch by BSA - to create further awareness and understanding of software asset management”.“For more information, assistance and/or participation in this free-of-charge program, BSA encourages business owners to visit www.mysoftwarewatch.org, or call the BSA program secretariat at 03-27803803,” Sawney concluded.

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

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.

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