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M'ysia seize $92,000 pirated software

The global piracy rate in 2004 was 35 per cent, while the Asia-Pacific rate was 53 per cent.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 12:52 IST

Malaysian authorities confiscated illegal software worth at least 332,000 ringgit ($92,000; euro73,000) from five companies in the government's latest clampdown on copyright piracy, an official said Wednesday.

Enforcement officers from the Domestic Trade Ministry seized the software in surprise raids on offices on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur between March 27 and May 2, said Iskandar Halim Sulaiman, head of the ministry's intellectual property protection unit. The Malaysian-based firms included businesses involved in technology solutions, marketing, furniture manufacturing and retail, Iskandar said.

Thirty-one computers with 211 copies of unlicensed software were seized from thee offices, Iskandar said, noting that company officials will likely be prosecuted pending investigations. The infringing software belonged to Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec, comprising programs for photo editing, design, animation, anti-virus protection, operating systems and word processing. Under Malaysia's copyright laws, corporate managers face up to five years in jail and a fine of 20,000 ringgit ($5,000; euro4,500) for each unlicensed software in their possession. Government authorities announced in March that more than 2,000 officers would begin inspecting businesses nationwide for unlicensed software use with the help of the Business Software Alliance, an international anti-piracy watchdog.

"All five of these latest enforcement actions carried out were the result of (public) tip-offs received from the Business Software Alliance," Iskandar said.

Some 61 per cent of all software used in private businesses in Malaysia in 2004 was illegal, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the BSA. Malaysia's software industry lost 509 million ringgit ($134 million; euro113 million) to piracy that year.

The global piracy rate in 2004 was 35 per cent, while the Asia-Pacific rate was 53 per cent.

First Published: May 03, 2006 12:52 IST