VND13.5 billion of unlicensed software found through nationwide raids

11:19 | 22/05/2015 Society

(VEN) - Since the conclusion of the month-long campaign, a total of 8 raids have been conducted against enterprises, netting illegal software valued at more than VND 13.5 billion.

VND13.5 billion of unlicensed software found through nationwide raids

Following the conclusion of a World IP Day awareness campaign that was launched on March 31, 2015 by Vice Minister Tran Viet Thanh of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and supported by the Vietnam Government Inter-Ministerial IPR Protection Task Forces (Program 168), an Inter-Ministerial Inspection Team consisting of inspectors of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) and officers of Anti High-Tech Crimes Department have begun conducting raids nationwide on businesses suspected of using unlicensed software.

 “A huge number of illegal software was found during raids against eight big foreign-owned companies. Over a thousand copies of unlicensed software were found in 493 PCs, where these software were being used by the raided companies in their business operations. It’s worth noting that despite having sufficient financial resources and a good understanding of the IP laws,  these eight foreign owned companies chose to intentionally violate the intellectual property rights of others for their own benefit” Mr Tran Van Minh, the Deputy Chief Inspector of MOCST said.

Amongst the illegal software found included products owned by Adobe, Autodesk, DassaultSystèmes, Lac Viet and Microsoft, all members of BSA | The Software Alliance.

According to a report of the Inter-Ministerial Inspection Team, representatives of the eight companies have signed the Inspection Minutes, admitting to their infringements, pledging to remove all unlicensed software from their PCs and legalize all software in their business operations. The eight companies, all of whom belong to the manufacturing sector, included four enterprises of Taiwanese ownership, while the other four were owned by Chinese, Korean, Swiss and Thai nationalities.

The Vietnamese Government has been a solid advocate for strong intellectual property rights protection, as evidenced by the issuance of Directive No. 36/2008/CT-TTgwhich was signed by the Prime Minister on December 31, 2008. The Directive places responsibility on any enterprise, including foreign-invested entities, against violation of the laws on Intellectual Property. Supporting this call, a month-long campaign commemorating World IP Day was seen as an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of intellectual property rights amongst enterprises in the business sector.

“In the coming weeks and months, we are committed to enhancing our enforcement actions against all businesses suspected of continuing to use illegal software, to ensure compliance after having been educated during the recent World IP Day Campaign” Mr Minh added.

Besides administrative measures, other effective sanctions against IPR infringements were also being encouraged and promoted by concerned IPR Protection Agencies. According to Mr Pham Phi Anh, the Deputy Director of the National Office of Intellectual Property, “in order to make best use of the civil sanctions, specialized IP Courts should be established”.

Illegal use of copyrighted software may also be subject to criminal prosecution in accordance with the Revised Criminal Code, which came into effect on January 1st, 2010.

Tarun Sawney, Senior Director - Asia-Pacific said “I wish to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the support of the Vietnam Government Inter-Ministerial IPR Protection Task Forces (Program 168) for a great campaign. With awareness already created, it is now the task of Inter-Ministerial Inspection Team to reinforce the seriousness of the government to defeat software piracy in businesses through enforcement. For that, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MOCST) and officers of Anti High-Tech Crimes Department have BSA’s unpided support for all actions to be conducted. I believe that it is only through our joint efforts can we achieve meaningful results”.

Minh Ly