The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Police raid unnamed corporate firm for software piracy


The Colombo Crimes Division of the Police last week raided a top corporate entity in the banking and financial sector, suspected of using pirated and unlicensed software.The raid took place in Colombo week where the inspection and identification of suspected pirated software lasted over five hours. Thereafter, the police seized all the computers installed with the pirated software into police custody, and will be produced in Court as evidence, according to a media release issued by the Colombo unit of the global Business Software Alliance (BSA).

The statement didn’t disclose the name of suspect company. It said the focus of the Police is on taking action on an on-going basis against companies that persist in using pirated and unlicensed software in their business. Many of these companies are, by now, clearly aware that copyright infringement is a criminal offence, and yet continue to disregard the law, which carries a fine not exceeding Rs 500,000 or imprisonment, or both if found guilty.

Section 187 of the Act goes on to state that where an offence under this Act has been committed by a body corporate, every person who at the time of the commission was a Director General, Manager, Secretary or other similar officer of that body, shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence, unless he/she proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge, it said.

Shalini Ratwatte, Consultant BSA Committee in Sri Lanka said, “Companies need to audit the software they have installed, ascertain its legality by identifying the gaps between licenses that they have purchased versus the number of copies that they have installed. A software audit is one of the most cost effective ways of managing software assets and reducing the risk of piracy in an organization.

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