Foreign firms caught with pirated software

A group of technology police inspectors say they have found pirated software worth 10 billion VND (476,190 USD) being used by six foreign companies in Hanoi.

A group of technology police inspectors say they have found pirated software worth 10 billion VND (476,190 USD) being used by six foreign companies in Hanoi.

The mission, carried out by inspectors from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Hi-tech Crime Police Bureau under the Ministry of Public Security, came after the Government unveiled its renewed target of cutting the software piracy rate to 70 percent in the next five years.

The rigorous enforcement effort again reiterates the Government's commitment to bring the software piracy rate in Vietnam down to the regional average and provide a healthy business environment.

At all the six companies, inspectors found breaches of software ownership laws, with the largest single value being roughly 4 billion VND (190,000 USD) detected at a Korean company.

The inter-agency inspecting team reportedly examined 536 computers and found the mentioned unlicensed software, worth totally 10 billion VND, the largest find since the beginning of the year.

Among the illegal software uncovered were products belonging to Adobe, Autodesk, LacViet and Microsoft.

An inspecting team representative said this was a large-scale raid covering a number of foreign companies in various lines of business, but declined to provide the names of the violators.

Of the six inspected firms, one is a Taiwanese company working in sports footwear, another - a Japanese company in software application development, while there is also a South Korean company producing apparel accessories and plastic/metal bags.

The remaining three are a Vietnamese-British joint venture specialising in medicine, chemical and pharmacy research and production, a Chinese-owned manufacturer of air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and electronics, plus an Australian-owned provider of applications and document management solutions.

"It is a shame that many financially strong companies continue to deliberately avoid buying licensed software," said Pham Xuan Phuc, Deputy Chief Inspector from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

"Being international firms and well aware of intellectual property laws, they deliberately engaged in these wrongful acts on purpose, to better their business ends," he added.

"The price of computer software only accounts for 5-6 percent of the gross annual operating costs of businesses, which is inexpensive compared to what it will cost them to correct incidents and risks that arise from using illegal software," said Tarun Sawney, Senior Director, Antipiracy - Asia-Pacific for BSA and the Software Alliance.

He said using legal software was beneficial to companies, primarily in terms of low legal risk and immunity from fines that may be administered after inspections.

"More importantly, licensed software helps busine sses improve competitiveness and establish brand names, while solidifying reputations and transparency," he added.

Other news