Many foreign firms use illegal software

The inspection department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on Thursday said violations of software copyrights have decreased this year but use of pirated software at foreign companies has intensified.


Ha Noi police check for illegally installed software at a local business. (Photo:

Pham Xuan Phuc, deputy director of the inspection department, said more than 80 of software copyrights infringements had been detected at foreign-invested enterprises.

Notably, the ministry along with the hi-tech crime fighting department under the Ministry of Public Security in the middle of this month detected pirated software at four wholly foreign-invested firms in HCMC, and Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces.

The inspections at the four companies found 561 pirated software products on 321 computers.

The pirated software products are mostly those of Microsoft such as Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and Microsoft SQL Server. Besides, the dictionary software LacViet MTD of Vietnam is used illegally at numerous companies. Inspectors also found many violations of other specialized software items like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop CS2 and AutoCAD.

However, inspectors have yet to name the four violators and the process to tackle them is still underway.

“It is shameful that the violators are all big companies with over 10,000 workers each and have strong financial capability. They well understand the Intellectual Property Law but deliberately evade the purchase of software copyrights,” Phuc said.

The department said it had carried out snap checks at 87 entities, with 3,842 computers inspected. The majority of the inspected firms commit wrongdoings of different degrees.

The department has imposed a combined fine of more than VND1.58 billion and has asked them to purchase the copyrights software.

Meanwhile, local enterprises have purchased software copyrights with a total value of about US$1.77 million as requested by law, Phuc added.

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