110 companies in Thailand raided for unlicensed software in 2017

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In the first half of 2017, Economic Crime Suppression (ECD) police raided 110 companies of all sizes, finding unlicensed software worth over Bt190 million on around 1,380 computers.

More than 90 per cent of the raids took place across a range of industries including auto part manufacturing, design, manufacturing, services, suppliers, building and construction, distribution, and entertainment.

Police continue to receive information about use of unlicensed software in these industries and are diligently working with software copyright holders to seek more evidence before raids.

The police crackdown has intensified in Bangkok, neighbouring areas and provinces nationwide, including Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Prachinburi, Samut Sakhon, Songkha and Phuket. Most unlicensed software discovered have been products of Microsoft, Autodesk and ThaiSoftware.

In 2016, some 69 per cent of Thailand business organizations were installing and using unlicensed software, well above Asia’s average rate of 61 per cent, according to the IDC-BSA survey of global software use.

In addition to the police crackdown, several government agencies and private-sector stakeholders are jointly campaigning to convince corporate end-users to purchase legal and licensed software.

The agencies are emphasizing the risks posed by unlicensed software, in particular the cyber-security risk. Colonel Vinai Wongbubpa, deputy commander of the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD), said technology powered by software underlies every aspect of the way businesses run.

To assist Thailand in achieving the objective of digital economy growth, ECD encourages corporate end-users to check that only licensed software is installed, used and run on their networks. If unlicensed software is found, business organizations and relevant authorities may be charged with violating the copyright law.

Copyright owners also have the right to file a civil case against them.

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