Business Times

Sri Lankan companies urged to ascertain legality of its software

The Sri Lanka unit of the US-based Business Software Alliance (BSA) is continuing efforts to propagate intellectual property rights and help local authorities nab offenders, and this week urged companies to ensure their software systems are legal (not fakes or copies).

Recently, another company was visited by the CID as part of a routine process of checking for software license compliance within the business sector, the BSA said in a media statement this week.
It said the BSA has been busy in providing advice to the business sector, from vendors to corporate end-users, on the intellectual property laws and what it means to be compliant.

Shalini Ratwatte, Consultant to the BSA Sri Lanka Committee, urged all businesses to conduct a software audit as soon as possible in order to ascertain the legality of its software.

"Copyright infringement is a criminal offense. The BSA welcomes the support over the past few years from businesses who have been heeding its advice in legalizing their software usage. Sri Lanka has seen good momentum in the reduction of its software piracy rate in recent years, and this is certainly paving the way for more ICT related investments and partnerships to blossom within the country," she added in the statement.

The law in Sri Lanka contains provisions that criminalize acts that provide unfair cost advantage against legitimate resellers who operate on the right side of the law. Ms Ratwatte added, "If you, as a vendor, sell counterfeit/pirated software to (consumrs and corporate) customers, you will be putting your customers at risk of being charged under the Intellectual Property Act, and face possible civil action by the copyright owner."

The BSA says it promotes policies that foster technology innovation, investment in the IT industry and, most importantly, a world where computer infrastructures and networks can be trusted.

It says piracy is an act where legitimate businesses are denied rightful revenues, and IT professionals are denied good jobs in the industry. There is strong evidence to suggest a very close correlation between piracy reduction and the growth of a country's IT eco-system. This is why Governments and stakeholders all over the world, pay particular attention to promoting intellectual property rights when pursuing their own aspirations for ICT growth, the statement added.

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