Malaysia Govt finds extensive unlicensed software usage in multiple business sectors

Malaysia Govt finds extensive unlicensed software usage in multiple business sectors

Ministry says ramping up collaborations to weed out culprits, new modus operandi

KUALA LUMPUR – The enforcement division of the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry (MDTC), through several raids in recent months, has uncovered extensive use of unlicensed software.
These breaches were seen in a range of business sectors nationwide, said a statement by the ministry today.

One of the methods uncovered during the enforcement operations included end users initially presenting outdated software licences to falsely imply compliance, only to be exposed as using unlicensed software for newer versions during thorough PC checks.

Among the programmes that were being used without an official licence were AutoCAD, 3ds Max, and V-Ray.

MDTC warned that it remains committed in its efforts to ensure compliance with legislation related to unlicensed software, especially in sectors that play a pivotal role in the nation’s economic development.

It carried the raids out on organisations from various backgrounds, including those involved in the engineering, architecture, and oil and gas sectors.

“The ongoing enforcement activities under the Copyright Act 1987 are a clear message that the ministry is firm about protecting the safety and copyright of works produced in Malaysia,” said the MDTC statement.

“The use of licensed software in critical sectors is important to uphold safety standards and mitigate potential risks posed to the public.”

According to enforcement statistics provided, the ministry raided 14 companies and found the use of 45 illegal software units across 16 personal computers and eight laptops between January 2020 and August 2023.

The combined infringement value of these is estimated to be RM995,000.

The ministry added that it actively collaborates with industry organisations and relevant government agencies to create awareness and implement strategies to promote responsible software use.

“The ministry urges all industry players to prioritise software compliance,” it said.

“It is a fundamental responsibility to ensure the public’s wellbeing and safeguard the nation’s interests.”

In accordance with the Copyright Act 1987, businesses are required to use licensed and legally acquired software within their operations. Violating the law can subject both the company and its leadership to substantial penalties, ranging from RM2,000 to RM20,000 for each instance of illegal software use, it warned.

Additionally, violators may face imprisonment of up to five years.

– The Vibes, November 3, 2023

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