Ministry raids companies for using unlicensed software

GEORGE TOWN: The Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) Penang branch raided three Penang-based businesses for using unlicensed software.

Among the items seized were five computers and peripherals along with 41 copies of suspected unlicensed software worth about RM479,000.

The first raid was carried out at a precision engineering firm in Batu Maung on Tuesday, with seizure worth RM119,000.

This was followed by two other raids on the mainland — a precision engineering firm in Simpang Ampat and an Interior Design and Construction company in Butterworth — on Thursday with computers and pirated software worth RM286,000 and RM74,000 respectively.

Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministrys Penang branch director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar.Star pic by ASRI ABDUL GHANI / The Star / April 02, 2018.

The unlicensed software found were those belonging to Adobe, Autodesk, Dassault Systems and Microsoft — all members of The Software Alliance (BSA).

KPDNKK Penang branch director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar (pic) said they raided the premises following complaints by BSA which is the leading advocate for the global software industry.

He said it was the responsibility of senior managers of companies to ensure their organisations and staff use only original or licensed software at the workplace.

“Failure to do so means the management team and the company are in violation of the Copyright Act 1987.

“If found guilty, they are liable to a fine of between RM2,000 and RM20,000 for each illegal copy of software found.

“In addition, as senior managers of a company, they may also face imprisonment of up to five years,” he said during a press conference at the ministry’s Penang branch office in Downing Street yesterday.

Meanwhile, BSA’s Compliance Programme (Asia Pacific) director Gary Gan warned companies of malware infections that could cause significant harm to an organisation’s IT infrastructure.

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