ECD police raids involve interior design companies and auto-parts manufacturers in Bangkok and nearby provinces
The Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) is intensifying crackdown on software copyright violation, reporting over 50 business entities were found using unlicensed software on more than 600 PCs in the first quarter of 2017, and the value of software used illegally reaches over 90 million baht. Most raid cases involve interior design companies and auto-parts manufacturers in Bangkok and nearby provinces.
A type of software copyright violation commonly found is that business entities reproduce copies of software without authorization and use one licensed copy to install a program on multiple PCs. In ECD’s first-quarter report of raid cases, a Thai interior design company in Bangkok was found using software illegally on 21 PCs worth over 10 million baht. This company has an annual income of 14 million baht.
Under the Thai Copyright Act, use of unlicensed software may subject business entities and their management to criminal and civil penalties including substantial fines and imprisonment. Also, business entities that obtain software illegally are putting themselves at risk because they will not be entitled to modifications and updates addressing cybersecurity threats from software companies.
According to IDC’s Global Software Survey, 69% of the software used by enterprises in Thailand in 2016 was unlicensed, compared with 71% in 2013. This steady decline results from the commitment of relevant agencies including the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) and ECD in seriously protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights through their public awareness and enforcement campaigns.
Another key is that business entities start to understand the implications of unlicensed software use for their business. Use of unlicensed software is not only violating copyright law but also makes business entities’ computer systems vulnerable to malware attacks.
Despite Thailand’s use of unlicensed software is on a steady decline, our goal is to get the rate of 69% closer to or below Asia’s average rate of 61%as soon as possible, according to ECD.
ECD is asking decision makers of business entities to ensure that only licensed software is used at the workplace. The legal and cybersecurity risks posed by use of unlicensed software can include failure in business operations, financial loss, data breach, reputational damage, etc.
You can report use of unlicensed software by calling 02-714-1010 or by reporting it online. More information is available at www.stop.in.th.