Campaign kicks off to raise awareness of software copyrights

Published: 13/05/2011 05:00



The Copyrights Office of Vietnam, Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and international organization Business Software Alliance (BSA) launched Thursday in Ho Chi Minh City a campaign to raise computer software retailers’ awareness of respecting copyrights.

The campaign is designed to further educate computer shops on the software piracy problem, as well as step up a national crackdown on software infringements.

Computer shops are the top priority as almost personal computers are preloaded with unlicensed software, Dr. Vu Manh Chu, head of the Copyrights Office, told a press briefing in the city.

The campaign – a partnership of the office, the Inspectorate and BSA – authorizes intellectual property lawyer Vu Manh Hung visit computer shops and software companies with the mission of education of respect of software intellectual property laws.

A warning notice about software piracy is hanged at Phong Vu, a leading computer shop in Ho Chi Minh City, on May 12, 2011 to raise the public’s awareness of using licensed software. The campaign organizers visited Phong Vu the same day and the shop agreed to display it to the public.

The lawyer, who has 10 years’ experience in intellectual property, is expected to tell IT shop owners not to sell and install unlicensed software on computers before selling them to customers.

According to Mr. Dao Anh Tuan, BSA contracted representative in Vietnam, many of the buyers have no idea that they have bought a computer preloaded with unlicensed software.

The country started crackdown efforts against computer software piracy in 2007, with inspection task forces raiding companies, organizations and computer shops to check if they use unlicensed software.

So far this year, inspection teams have raided 21 companies and businesses across the country, mostly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

They conducted a total of 111 raids last year, finding out the infringement rate up to 97-98%, according to the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

At present, Vietnamese laws rule that violators of intellectual property copyrights are subject to a fine of VND50 million – VND500 million.

The computer software piracy rate in Vietnam has decreased to 85% in 2009 from 92% in 2004, according to the Copyrights Office.

A study recently conducted by IDC, a premier global market intelligence firm, says that if computer software piracy drop 10 percentage points in four years, the software industry will gain US$623 million in sales.

Mr. Ha Than, general director of Lac Viet Company that publishes Vietnam’s most popular electronic dictionary Lac Viet, estimates that software piracy caused losses of VND58 billion (some US$2.9 million) to his company last year alone.

Mr. Nguyen Tu Quang, CEO of BKIS, a leading supplier of anti-virus software programs, says that unlike licensed software, illegal software does not go through quality check, thus not receive timely update of the original publisher’s patches and fixes, and therefore leads to highly hazardous risks by exposing the user’s computers. It is true not only to malware, viruses but also to the chance of hackers stealing sensitive information, with potentially unpredictable consequences.

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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