National sweep finds foreign, Vietnamese firms stole $705k of software

Thanh Nien News

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Disks of pirated software are widely available in Vietnam's markets. Photo credit: Livemint Disks of pirated software are widely available in Vietnam's markets. Photo credit: Livemint
A recent inspection of businesses across the country found 14 firms (mostly foreign-owned) had skimmed nearly US$705,500 by using pirated software, the Washington-based Software Alliance said Monday.
Inspectors from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourismand high-tech crime division at the Ministry of Public Security detected the piracy during a random inspection of 16 companies across the country, according to BSA--a leading advocate for the global software industry.
Only one Vietnamese company was in the list, besides four South Korean companies, three Taiwanese, two Japanese, two US firms, one Australian firm and one Swiss, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported, citing BSA’s report.
Common office software such as Adobe Systems, Autodesk, English-Vietnamese dictionary Lac Viet, Microsoft and anti-virus Symantec were the most copied as inspectors checked nearly 400 computers at the companies.
One of the biggest violators, the Taiwan-owned paper company Chanh Duong in the southern province of Binh Duong, was found to be using more than VND1 billion ($47,000) worth of pirated software.
The company’s managers refused to take responsibility for the piracy when confronted by the inspectors.
Vietnam started imposing fines on the use of pirated software nine years ago.
A court in Dong Nai Province, just outside HCMC, last December accepted the country’s first software piracy lawsuit by Microsoft and Lac Viet against Taiwanese shoe and clothing maker Long John Dong Nai.
Inspectors found the company had installed the relevant software in 69 computers without paying Microsoft and Lac Viet roughly VND1.2 billion ($56,436) they owed in licensing fees.

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