HA NOI (VNS)— Next year, inspections on software copyright violations would be increased and violators would get stricter punishments, said Pham Xuan Phuc, deputy chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
|Ha Noi police check for illegally installed software at a local business. — VNS Photo hanoimoi.com.vn
This year, the ministry's inspectors conducted unscheduled inspections on nearly 3,900 computers belonging to 87 enterprises. Most of the inspected companies were using pirated software; the violators had to pay a total fine of VND1.58 billion (US$75,000).
Notably, 80 per cent of the violators were foreign firms, Phuc said.
Most recently, the ministry inspection agency, co-operating with the Ministry of Public Security's High-tech Crime Control Police Bureau, detected four major foreign-invested companies in HCM City and southern Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces using 561 copies of software programmes for which they had not purchased the copyright.
Microsoft Windows, LacViet MTD dictionary, Adobe Acrobat and AutoCAD were the most commonly pirated software programmes.
The value of the pirated software was estimated at nearly VND4 billion ($190,500), he said.
Large-scale enterprises with strong financial capacity that nevertheless tried to avoid paying for legally licensed software should be punished most heavily, inspector Phuc said.
Vu Manh Chu, former head of the Copyright Office of Viet Nam, said illegal software use should be subject to criminal charges. According to the Law on Intellectual Property, copyright owners could initiate legal proceedings against violators and seek compensation for damages caused by the piracy.
Enterprises licensed to export goods to international markets would also be banned from exporting to those countries.
The battle against copyright infringement also required software producers to co-operate with relevant authorities in making businesses aware of copyright regulations, Phuc said.
Japanese firms all abided by copyright laws, showing that they were well-informed. — VNS