An anti piracy and counterfeit unit has been set up in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka Police, the American Chamber of Commerce(AMCHAM), Sri Lanka said. “There has been an urgent need to address the increasing incidences of infringements of intellectual property rights, which result in the piracy and counterfeit of original creations of industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields,” said the AMCHAM statement.
The anti piracy unit at the CID has been set up with assistance from the AMCHAM and the Business Software Alliance (BSA). “I would also like to thank the AMCHAM and the BSA, for assisting us in the establishment of the unit,” said a Director of the CID, Wijaya Amarasinghe.
The CID says the police are committed to enforcing national intellectual property (IP) laws. “Like with burglary, drugs or prostitution, large sums of money may be at stake with very well organised networks behind it. Piracy, counterfeiting and intellectual property rights infringements are not victimless crimes, and have many different faces. The laws of the country must be adhered to – just like any other law. The police are fully committed to using enforcement measures on a regular basis to tackle the problem,” said Mr Amarasinghe.
The anti piracy unit will address crimes related to piracy and counterfeiting to protect Sri Lankan consumers and to help local innovators safeguard their intellectual property rights, said the press release.
“As a Business Chamber of Commerce representing business owners, we need IPR awareness, protection and enforcement to build investor confidence and prove the existence of a good legal infrastructure,” said the Executive Director of AMCHAM, Sri Lanka Chullantè Jayasuriya.
A robust IP regime will stimulate scientific and technological advancement, cultural prosperity and economic development, and contribute towards the development of a knowledge-creation and innovation-driven economy, said the press release.
“The BSA would like to congratulate the CID on the establishment of a specialised unit to address intellectual property related crime. This is a very important milestone for the country. We firmly believe that strong intellectual property rights protection not only encourages innovation but also ensures that the value of intellectual creations is properly recognized and respected,” said a consultant for BSA Sri Lanka, Shalini Ratwatte.
BSA has also conducted capacity building programmes for both public and private sector stakeholders on IP law.