US alliance says Vietnam software piracy decreasing

TN News

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Vietnam's PC software piracy rate is decreasing and will reach 60 percent in the next ten years from the current 81 percent, according to the US's Business Software Alliance (BSA).

Tarun Sawney, director of BSA's Anti-piracy Division in the Asia-Pacific region, told the Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) Online earlier this week that he believes Vietnam will achieve the expected target, given that its PC piracy software rate has been dropping 2 percent every year.

According to BSA Global Software Piracy Study released last May, in 2009, 85 percent of PC software here was pirated, but the rate decreased to 83 percent in 2010 and then 81 percent in 2011.

Vietnam is one of several countries that has made great improvements in the matter, Sawney was quoted as saying.

He said BSA will support the Vietnamese government in planning and enforcing regulations regarding software piracy as well as in training personnel and enhancing people's awareness.

The association has recently launched the portal Verafirm.org in Vietnam to help companies manage their software efficiently. The site also documents that companies' software is licensed, the news website reported.

Such documentation aims to prove that companies abide by intellectual property rights laws.

Vietnam's current rate of software piracy is higher than the average 60 percent in other Southeast Asian countries.

The value of PC software theft here has climbed to over US$300 million, BSA reported.

It said inspectors with the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism checked 3,958 computers at 64 companies over the first eight months this year, and found a "very high" violation rate.

The theft was estimated to cost as much as $537,000.

Following the findings, violators were fined nearly VND1.3 billion ($61,500).

Last month, another six inspections undertaken in Vietnam found that all inspected companies, including foreign ones, in violation of anti-piracy regulations. They came from varied sectors including footwear, electronics, computer programming, and industrial construction, Sawney told the news website.

He said the violating foreign companies are from Australia, China, Japan, and Taiwan, and that some of them used pirated software that was worth as much as $500,000.

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