Five pirated software sellers arrested, 2,792 CDs seized
KARACHI- Business Software Alliance (BSA) here in its latest move to curb software piracy confiscated 2,792 CDs and arrested five vendors for selling unlicensed computer programmes.
“These five police assisted raids were conducted to discourage the thriving business of unauthorized software selling and its selling and its usage in Pakistan,” commented Co-Chairman, BSA, Middle East, said an AI Redha statement issued here on June 24, 2003.
All the five computers loaded with the illegal software including PhotoShop, Norton Anti Virus, Microsoft Windows, AutoCAD and Microsoft Office were also impounded by the police as physical evidence to bring legal action against the accused.
“Whoever makes, sells, distributes or uses illegal CDs faces severe legal risks under the copyright law,” Al Redha warned.
The raids follow the recent launching of an international report on global piracy, which placed Pakistan at No.7 among the 25 countries with highest software piracy rate in the world. “Today the software piracy rate in Pakistan stands at 80 per cent, which means eight in every 10 software programmes installed in the country are illegal,” he pointed out.
AI Redha said BSA’s efforts aimed at restricting the growing pirated software industry also endeavor to strengthen the country’s economy by creating jobs and revenues. “The elimination of piracy in Pakistan’s software industry could create around 32,000 jobs and millions of rupees in revenues over the next five years to boost country’s economic growth,” he said.
The software piracy is also a potential barrier to innovation and product development besides hindering foreign investment. The strict implementation of copyright law would protect the software manufacturers and acts as an incentive to attract both domestic and foreign investors and developers to the country, Al Redha said.
Pakistan’s copyright law provides for penalties that can result in up to three years in prison, up to Rs 200,000 in fine and confiscation of equipment used for duplication of software, he added.
BSA, as a part of its nationwide campaign will continue investigation of this hidden crime. “The computer dealers doing illegal hard disk loading or software selling and those using it are very likely to end up in the court,” he said.
Piracy might seem harmless to some people, yet it cost the global software industry more than $13.08 billion last year. Therefore, BSA is fighting piracy by educating computer users on software copyrights and nabbing the culprits, he added.
The Alliance is operating globally in 65 countries and its members include such software giants as Adobe, Apple Computer, AutoDesk, Bentley Systems, Internet Security Systems, Macromedia, Microsoft, Net work Associates and Symantec.
Source: The Nation