10,000 Vietnamese businesses targeted for anti-piracy campaign

By Vien Thong   October 25, 2019 | 10:29 pm PT
10,000 Vietnamese businesses targeted for anti-piracy campaign
Up to 74 percent of software used in Vietnam is unlicensed. Photo by Shutterstock/Tero Vesalainen.
The Software Alliance (BSA), a trade group of the world's largest software makers, is hoping to influence 10,000 Vietnamese companies to use copyrighted software.

A recent BSA release said it has launched a new campaign in Vietnam called "Eradicating Illegal Software", in which it will work closely with local authorities to ensure companies are using software in compliance with intellectual property regulations.

The organization will also provide CEOs of companies a free "risk estimation tool" to help them determine the penalties they may face for non-compliance, it said.

To select the 10,000 enterprises for the campaign, BSA will target those that have purchased software licenses earlier but have stopped renewing them, or those that are in industries that require specific software but are not included in BSA’s clients list.

These are two groups of businesses that are highly likely to be using pirated software that will be approached and encouraged to use copyrighted products, BSA said.

BSA will particularly target companies in manufacturing, construction, banking and finance, engineering, architecture, communications, design, information technology and health sectors.

"The software industry highly appreciates the work that the Vietnamese government is doing, but we want to see more from CEOs in Vietnam to ensure software usage at their enterprises is 100 percent legal," said Tarun Sawney, Asia-Pacific Senior Director of BSA.

"This does not mean we think CEOs are violating the law, but that many of them are not managing the copyrights of their software assets closely," he added.

According to BSA’s latest statistics, as of 2017, 74 percent of software used in Vietnam’s is unlicensed, much higher than the regional average.

Although Vietnam’s unlicensed software ratio has fallen slightly from 78 percent in 2015, it is still much higher than Thailand’s 67 percent and China’s 60 percent, it says.

Between March and September this year, BSA had also conducted a campaign involving 6,278 Vietnamese companies using pirated software, but only managed to convince 1,358 to legitimize their operations, a conversion rate of 22 percent, it said.

The Software Alliance, formerly known as the Business Software Alliance, is a Washington-based trade group that aims to support policies promoting technological innovation and growth in the global digital economy.

Its members include big names like Adobe, Autodesk, Apple, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Cisco and Symantec. It operates in over 60 countries.

Since January 1, 2018, Vietnam has made copyright infringement a criminal offense. Corporations found to have broken this law can face a maximum fine of VND3 billion ($129,130) and business suspension of up to 2 years.

In 2018, the Ministry of Information and Communications handled 50 cases of unlicensed software use. In the first nine months of this year, it handled another 85 cases.

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