National Police nab software copiers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Officers of the National Police Cyber Crime Unit have arrested two alleged illegal software copiers in Jakarta in the latest crackdown on the illicit trade.

The suspects are identified as PT Surya Toto Indonesia operational manager Sintawati and marketing director Juliawan Sari.raided two companies and confiscated evidence, such as 200 plus copies of illegal software and 300 units of desktop computers with the pirated software inside," National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Bambang Kuncoko said Wednesday. Authorities seized 85 desktop computers from the second company, identified as PT MA.

Under Indonesian law, copyright offenders face up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as Rp 500 million (US$54,932).

Authorities said both companies used original digital software as master copies and then installed copies on computers before distributing them in markets such as Mangga Dua, West Jakarta and Senen, Central Jakarta.

The software copied included products from Microsoft, Symantec, Borland, Adobe, Cisco Systems, Macromedia and Autodesk. They are all registered members of Washington-based Business Software Alliance (BSA), which protects their copyrights.

Indonesia is the third worst intellectual property rights offender in the world, with 87 percent of all software on the market here pirated. It trails only Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

"With the help of our Criminal Division unit, we have been trying to raise awareness of not using counterfeit products among corporate end users," Bambang said.

He added that reducing the amount of illegal software could increase job opportunities in the country's information technology sector.

Indonesia is currently trying to cut piracy by 10 percent.

A study by the International Data Corporation and BSA has suggested that a 10 to 25 percent drop in the global piracy rate would create as many as 2.4 million new jobs.

Criminal Unit director Brig. Gen. Wenny Waraouw said the police respected intellectual property rights in their own office.

"You can check here, we install only legal software on our computers," Wenny told reporters.

BSA anti-piracy director for Asia, Tarun Sawney, said the BSA, which operates in 70 countries, contributed nothing to the raid.

"It's fantastic. They operated independently without our help and succeeded. This is a sign that the National Police have become more serious about eradicating piracy," Tarun said.

He added that the current police efforts, similar to those employed in Hong Kong, were just a first step, and there would be more aggressive action against piracy across the country.

"The loss due to this activity is enormous, probably hundreds of million of dollars," Tarun said. (03)
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