CityNews – The Royal Thai Police have been cracking down on pirated and illegal software recently, with 7.8 million baht’s worth of software being confiscated from seven companies in Chiang Mai this December.
Three of the raided companies were real estate businesses, with one firm amassing annual revenues over 500 million baht. Among the raided companies were manufacturing and construction companies, which have an average annual revenue of 223.5 million baht when combined. The main confiscated software from all seven companies was Autodesk software.
The police are more serious than ever about enforcing the Thai Copyright Act, which protects software copyrights, and suspects that Chiang Mai has nearly 300 companies using unlicensed software in their business operations in 2013. To compete at a global level, Chiang Mai companies are encouraged to use only legal software in order to avoid the risks of pirated software. Some of the risks include trade hazard, supply chain instability, data security threats and legal consequences.
What many companies might be unaware of is that Thailand is on the United States Trade Representative Priority Watch List, which means that Thai companies have committed numerous intellectual property rights violations, causing police to have to strengthen and multiply their raid efforts. Thai authorities have upped their number of raids from 2012, when there were 179 raids, to 300 in the year of 2013. They hope these numbers will continue to increase in 2014.
Under Thailand’s Copyright Act B.E. 2537, infringement of a copyrighted computer program carries punishment of imprisonment and/or a fine.
Those who report the use of unlicensed software by calling the BSA Hotline at 02-714-1010 or by reporting it online are eligible to receive an award of up to 250,000 Thai Baht. The identity of the caller is protected. More information is available online at this website.