In the first 11 months of this year, the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD)found nearly 500 million baht of unlicensed and illegal software in use at 214 business organizations, nearly 20 percent higher than 2014. This indicates that corporations and management need to have a better level of understanding about the Copyright Act, the associated legal penalties for infringement and critical implications to their businesses.
This year, ECD police added more channels for the public to report the use of unlicensed and illegal software at the workplace, including through social media platforms.
ECD Deputy Commander, Pol. Col. Dr. Kittisak Plathong said, “Use of unlicensed and illegal software is a crime, and is therefore unacceptable. Thai software developers are among those hurt by software piracy. We are enforcing the rule of law to protect software developers’ intellectual property rights. We encourage senior management of businesses to understand that software licensing audit should be an essential component of corporate risk management and must be conducted periodically to ensure that they will not have to encounter the risks associated with using unlicensed and illegal software including legal action.”
Last week the ECD police raided a Thai owned company in the furniture industry and found 51 PCs with suspected unlicensed and illegal software installed. Furthermore, ECD police raided a chemical manufacturer with Thai and Malaysian shareholders in Nakhon Pathom for using suspected unlicensed and illegal software on 43 PCs. A household appliance manufacturer was also raided for using suspected unlicensed and illegal software on 94 PCs.
Pol.Col. Dr. Kittisak said, “We will continue to reduce software piracy, from a rate of 71% in 2014 to promote the growth of Thailand’s domestic IT economy and also to provide a good environment for innovation in the digital economy. In addition, this is another way to close security gaps existing in unlicensed and illegal software as a cause of cybercrime.”
Those who report the use of unlicensed software by calling the Software Piracy Hotline at 02-714-1010 or by reporting it online are eligible to receive an award. The identity of the informant is strictly protected. More information is available online at www.stop.in.th