The Sunday Leader

Police Raid Financial Institution Over Software Piracy

The Police had raided another financial institution in Colombo suspected of using pirated and unlicensed software, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) Committee in Sri Lanka said.
Upon inspection and identification of suspected pirated software, the police seized over 50 computers installed with suspected pirated software all of which were taken into Police Custody for further inspection and to be produced in Court.
BSA said the focus of the Police is on taking action on an on-going basis against companies using pirated and unlicensed software in their business as these companies are, by now, clearly aware that this is a criminal offence and yet continue to disregard the law.
The Intellectual Property Rights Act No 36 of 2003 states that computer programs are protected works and are original intellectual creations. Any person willfully infringing any of the rights protected under the Act is guilty of an offence and is liable, upon conviction after trail before a Magistrate, to a fine not exceeding Rs.500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.
Section 187 of the Act goes on to state that where an offence under this Act has been committed by a body corporate, every person who at the time of the commission was a Director General, Manager, Secretary or other similar officer of that body, shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence, unless he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge.
“I urge all businesses to consider the security risks associated with the use of counterfeit or pirated software. Using such software not only contravenes the laws of the country, it also exposes an organization’s computer network to a possible security breach, both from malware such as viruses as well as data theft through hacking. Such threats can only be minimized through the use of legitimate and original software,” Shalini Ratwatte, Consultant to BSA Committee in Sri Lanka said. BSA promotes policies that foster technology innovation, investment in the IT industry and a world where computer infrastructures and networks can be trusted. The growth of IT within economies worldwide is very closely correlated to reduced piracy rates in the respective countries.


1 Comment for “Police Raid Financial Institution Over Software Piracy”

  1. Software piracy is certainly a less than ethical practice, but there is a definite undercurrent of sharp practices on the parts of many copyrighted product development & enforcement industry players. Enterprises around the world are being accused of “piracy” when, in fact, they simply do not understand how to effectively manage the entire life cycle of the copyright protected products on their computing devices.

    Frequently, an audit that is referenced as a “piracy event” to the world is nothing more than a case of the enterprise losing its proofs of possession, or simply not clearly understanding how they are permitted to distribute the product internally. There are also plenty of cases where enterprises purchased product from a so-called “authorized reseller” only to discover (during an audit) that they had received counterfeit product.

    There are two primary keys to reducing your exposure to the 100 plus predatory compliance enforcement auditors operating around the globe. First, recognize that when you effectively manage the IT portfolio of goods, services, & contractual relationships – from a business perspective – you will minimize compliance-related errors while dramatically increasing the ROI on both software & hardware. The second factor is that you must ensure that at least one individual within the enterprise is trained, empowered, & actively support in gaining & maintaining control of the compliance aspects of the IT environment.

    Keep in mind that the collective auditing groups maintain a “letter of the law” mentality when it comes to compliance. Their auditing actions are based on their perspective of the terms & conditions of the license agreement, not on our impressions of “what’s reasonable.”

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