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Three companies are facing hefty fines after being caught using pirated business software by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (MDTCC).
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) received a tip-off several weeks ago on the use of pirated software and alerted the Ministry.
Enforcement officers, accompanied by BSA officials then raided the three offices in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam and found the allegations to be true.
Kuala Lumpur MDTCC deputy director Mohamad Mokhtar Yeop said they raided an Internet advertising firm in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon.
After examining the computers in the office, the officers seized two units and four copies of pirated business software.
The Selangor MDTCC also conducted a raid on Wednesday when its officers checked the computers used by an interior design company in Dataran Prima and seized six computers and 21 copies of pirated business software.
Earlier on Tuesday, an engineering company based in Shah Alam was raided by authorities after they received information that pirated business software was being used on the premises.
Checks of the computers at the engineering firm yielded the biggest haul when they confiscated 10 computers and 121 copies of pirated business software.
Some of the software discovered during the raid included computer-aided design, animation, anti-virus and word processing, all of which were the intellectual property of BSA members, such as Adobe, Microsoft and Symantec.
BSA senior director of marketing Roland Chan said the estimated total value of the seizures from the three raids was RM1.5 million.
“As today (April 26) is World Intellectual Property Day, we celebrate innovation, creativity and how intellectual property fosters and encourages individuals whose artistry have broken molds.”
“We have had overwhelming support for our anti-piracy call, especially since we announced a reward of RM50,000 last month to anyone who provides information on any business using pirated or unlicensed software,” he told reporters yesterday.
He added the announcement had resulted in a 200 per cent increase in calls from the public to BSA’s anti-piracy hotline. The information received is then shared by the BSA with the MDTCC.
The responsibility of ensuring only legal business software is used by the company lies with the senior management.
If charged and found guilty, the company and its directors can be fined up to RM20,000 for each copy of pirated business software. In addition, the directors may also be sentenced to imprisonment for up to five years.