BSA, Microsoft Tackle Software Piracy

A Hong Kong computer dealer was recently ordered to pay more than $35 million (HK) to Microsoft after a local court found the dealer, Able System Development Ltd, sold thousands of computers over an extended period with unlicensed Microsoft software pre-installed on their hard discs.

Industry watchdog group, Business Software Alliance (BSA), on Wednesday voiced its support of the decision, adding the case “highlights the seriousness of the piracy problem faced by the software industry.”

The remarks come on the same day that a Microsoft official told a technology conference in Cyberjaya, Malaysia’s software hub, that China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia were the “hotspots” where software pirates thrived.

In a sharp criticism, Katharine Bostick, Microsoft’s senior corporate attorney, said penalties imposed by many governments were not tough enough, resulting in the growth of large-scale manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit products, Reuters reported.

A BSA study showed that the global piracy rate rose by one percent to 40 percent of software products sold in 2001. Bostick said software firms stood to lose $11 billion in sales a year.

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