Pithampur firm to pay $100,000 fine for using pirated software

  • Manoj Ahuja, Indore
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2015 23:02 IST

Pithampur-based textile firm Pratibha Syntex will cough up USD 100,000 (Rs 66 lakhs) to settle charges of using pirated software including that of Microsoft and Adobe.

The company, with an annual turnover exceeding USD 75 million, is a vertically integrated textile major with interest in cotton farming, spinning and garment manufacturing. It exports cloth material to top garment manufacturers in the US and Europe.

“Pratibha Syntex has agreed to pay USD 100,000 in restitution within 30 days,” a person familiar with the development said. The settlement was reached at Los Angeles Superior Court and approved by the judge.

When contacted, Pratibha Syntex vice president Ashok Jain said, “I am not in a position to comment whether the company will be paying the amount. We are in touch with our legal advisers in the US and in India. The company will issue a statement tomorrow (on Wednesday).”

According to PTI, California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a statement saying, “Pratibha Syntex engaged in illegal business practices that placed California garment companies at a disadvantage, while hurting American software companies’ ability to develop new and innovative products.”

In 2013, the state of California had sued Pratibha Syntex on the grounds that it did not pay licensing fees for software it used for its business, including products manufactured by Microsoft, Adobe and others, giving the company an unfair cost advantage in the low-margin business of apparel manufacturing.

In addition, other terms of the settlement prohibit Pratibha Syntex from using unlicensed software or reproducing any part of a copyrighted software program without the permission of the legitimate copyright holder. Also, Pratibha Syntex must draft an information technology policy statement regarding the use of licensed software and distribute this policy to all employees.

Pratibha Syntex has a unit in Pithampur special economic zone (SEZ) to manufacture yarn and fabric that it exports to several countries.

Reacting to the judgment, the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has issued a circular to all its members citing the Pratibha Syntex case and urged them to use genuine software for meeting their business needs.

(With inputs from PTI)

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