A tech police officer checks computers at a company. Photo credit: VietNamNet
Vietnamese police have discovered eight foreign companies using more than 1,000 pirated software programs worth up to VND13.5 billion (US$618,000) in total, news website VietNamNet reported on May 22.
Half of the violators were Taiwanese companies, and the others were from China, South Korea, Switzerland and Thailand, it said.
They installed software from firms like Adobe Systems Incorporated from the US and Vietnam's Lac Viet on 493 computers.
Tran Van Minh, deputy chief inspector of the culture ministry, which collaborated with tech police in the inspection, criticized the companies for their violations.
"They are all big businesses with ample financial capacity and knowledge of intellectual property laws, but still deliberately violated them, illegally using others' intellectual products to earn profits," he said.
Representatives of the companies promised to either uninstall the illegal software products or purchase licenses for them, according to the website.
The inspection is part of Vietnamese authorities' one-month campaign for the World Intellectual Property Day, which is observed on April 26 every year.
Minh said officers will continue checking companies suspected of using illegal software, forcing them to abide by the laws.
A survey by the US-owned Business Software Alliance showed that Vietnam's software piracy rate is 81 percent, the website reported.