BSA launches nationwide campaign against rampant software piracy

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Business Software Alliance (BSA), a non-profit antipiracy organization funded by the software industry, has launched a nationwide campaign against software piracy by conducting a raid in collaboration with the police.

The police recently raided two Singaporean companies operating on Batam Island with the help of the BSA, whose members include the world's largest software makers.

BSA director for the Asia Pacific region, Jeffrey J. Hardee, said here Thursday that during the May 8 raid, two shipping companies, identified only by their initials PT A and PT B, were found to have installed unlicensed Autodesk, Microsoft and Symantec software worth US$500,000 on their 145 personal computers.

"This proves that not only small firms and poor people use counterfeited software, but also multinational companies," Hardee told the press.

The 2002 Copyright Law states that anyone who, without permission, deliberately reproduces a computer program for commercial purposes can be jailed for a maximum of five years and/or fined a maximum of Rp 500 million ($51,500).

As part of the anti software piracy campaign, the BSA inked a partnership agreement earlier this month with the East Java Police.

Under the agreement, which was signed on May 3, the BSA will provide the necessary information to help police investigations, and provide witnesses in copyright-violation cases when needed.

"The East Java Police are moving ahead in the fight against piracy," said Hardee.

"Police in other regions have signaled their interest in working with us as well. I believe this is a good sign for Indonesia, which is moving in the right direction," he said.

According to a report by IDC, a global technology and industry analyst, the country managed to reduce its software piracy rate by only 3 percentage pints over the past three years, from 87 percent in 2003 to 85 percent last year.

Last year, Indonesia ranked as the third worst offender for software piracy in the Asia-Pacific region after Vietnam on 88 percent, and Pakistan on 86 percent. Indonesia's position has remained relatively stable since 2003.

Although Indonesia reduced its piracy rate by 2 percentage points during the period, losses resulting from counterfeited software steadily increased from $158 million in 2003 to $183 million in 2004, $280 million in 2005 and $350 million last year, the report says. (06)
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