Company raided for using illegal software
KARACHI- A large air-conditioning equipment and service company was raided here for using illegal software and its IT (information technology) manager was taken into police custody for violating copyright laws.
The company, whose name has been withheld, specializes in climate control solutions for large and medium sized factories, hospitals and storage facilities, according to Business Software Alliance.
The surprise inspection of computers was conducted by an eight-member team, including officials from Tipu Sultan Police Station that found at least four computers installed at its head office without licenses.
The extreme step was taken after the company was warned to replace all pirated software with legal computer programmes. Despite being reminded of the serious implications of breaking the law, the company ignored the legal notice. When asked to show licenses for the software in use, the company employees could not produce any such documents. Therefore, the four computers with illegal software were taken to the “Police Maal Khana” while the IT manager was criminally charged, hand-cuffed and taken to the police station. A criminal case will be lodged against directors and officers of the company in connection with violation of the country’s copyright laws, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) statement said. The company officials face stiff penelties that may include a fine of up to Rs200, 000, seizure of other computers without licensed software, besides a prison sentence of up to three yeas.
“Our company lost millions of rupees due to companies using illegal copies of our Urdu word processing software and it is high time that strict action be taken against users of illegal software,” said the statement quoting a major Pakistani software developer.
The strong action from the authorities sends a clear signal to all companies to use only legal software. “Illegal software use can prove very risky for a company. No company wants to be accused of breaking the law and it does serious damage to a company’s reputation,” explained Ronald Chua, Vice President Business Software Alliance and Senior Legal Advisor of AutoDesk Inc. “We urge all users of computers to insist that the software being used is supported by legal licenses,” he said and added, “we have installed a helpline in Karachi (0800 01234) to provide assistance regarding the use of legal software.”
Source: The News