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VN looks to discourage software piracy

Update: May, 30/2015 - 09:50
The ministry's deputy chief inspector, Tran Van Minh, said Viet Nam was considered by the Software Alliance (BSA) to be one of the countries taking strong, positive steps in fighting against software copyright violations, with its piracy rate falling from 92 per cent in 2004 to 81 per cent in 2014. — Photo most.gov.vn
HA NOI (VNS)  — Viet Nam expects to lower its software piracy rate to 75 per cent in the coming period, according to an official of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of a one-month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day (April 26) in Ha Noi this week, the ministry's deputy chief inspector, Tran Van Minh, said Viet Nam was considered by the Software Alliance (BSA) to be one of the countries taking strong, positive steps in fighting against software copyright violations, with its piracy rate falling from 92 per cent in 2004 to 81 per cent in 2014.

During the campaign, lasting from March 31 to April 30, the ministry's inspectors ramped up inspections to ensure compliance with laws on copyright and related rights for music, literature, records and videos, among other things, especially computer software.

They cooperated with the Ministry of Public Security's Hi-tech Crime Police (C50) to inspect 822 computers at 15 enterprises in various cities and provinces. The fine imposed for administrative violations reached nearly VND500 million (more than US$22,700). Minh said that following the inspection, the firms were proactive in working with representatives of copyright owners to legally purchase software and compensate the owners for losses, as requested.

Meanwhile, inspectors of the Ministry of Science and Technology also fined 11 individuals and organisations VND254 million (over $11,500) for violating industrial property rights during the campaign month. They also collaborated with the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam to implement inspections in cooperation with seven organisations representing copyright owners.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Roland Chan, BSA's Asia-Pacific Compliance Programs Senior Director, praised the efforts of the Vietnamese government in advancing the protection of intellectual property rights in recent years.

"An important part of our message in this campaign has been about the connection between unlicensed software and cyber security threats," he said.

"I hope that the campaign has succeeded in persuading businesses that, beyond legal obligations in respecting the intellectual property laws of the country, the use of licensed software is quintessential for the continued viability of businesses.

"We believe that with the strategy of combining educational activities with strong, effective enforcement actions, Viet Nam's intellectual property rights protection will move to a higher level in the coming years, providing a great incentive for Viet Nam's economic development."

The campaign, conducted by the Ministry of Science and Technology with the support of BSA, is aimed at raising awareness on exploiting and protecting intellectual property as well as encouraging creativity, innovation and scientific technology applications to boost productivity and develop society and the economy. — VNS


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