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Austnam faces software charges

Update: November, 07/2014 - 08:45

The Austnam Joint Stock Co., is based in Thanh Xuan District, Ha Noi. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Austnam Joint Stock Co, a key name in the manufacture of roofing sheet and steel building materials, is facing a lawsuit for software piracy.

On October 28, the People's Court of Ha Noi accepted a case by the Microsoft Corporation against Austnam seeking damages caused by infringement of ownership.

On July 31 last year, an interagency inspection team that included the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture-Sports-Tourism and the Hi-tech Crime Bureau belonging to the Ministry of Public Security, conducted an inspection of 22 computers at Austnam JSC based in Thanh Xuan District, Ha Noi.

The inspection was made under Decision 176/QD-TTr, dated July 30, 2013, by the chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture-Sports-Tourism.

The check revealed a shortfall of software licences from a number of software publishers, including Lac Viet and Microsoft. The estimated value of the unlicensed software used was US$42,256.

After more than a year of unsuccessful negotiations, in April this year, Microsoft initiated legal proceedings against Austnam . The petition was accepted by the People's Court of Ha Noi.

Rebecca Ho, Microsoft Corporation spokesperson for IP enforcement, said that her company had suffered heavily from the use of unlicensed software products by Austnam.

"We hope that our lawful interests will be protected. Last year, we also demanded that Gold Long John Dong Nai Co. be responsible before the law to compensate for the damages it deliberately caused us."

The software piracy rate dropped 11 percentage points from 92 per cent in 2004 to 81 per cent in 2011, Viet Nam is now rated as a country turning things around in regards to combating software piracy. But to come down to the regional average of 60 per cent, it has much more to do.

Tarun Sawney, senior director, enforcement for Asia Pacific, BSA/The Software Alliance said: "Copying and using illegal software not only lost tax revenue, but contributed to an unfair competitive environment for companies in the same industry." — VNS

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