Ministry of Culture and Information inspectors swooped on two computer firms in Hanoi after tip offs concerning extensive piracy.
The MCI inspectors teamed up with the police anti-piracy unit for investigation of two computer companies in Hanoi – Vinh Xuan Computer Company at 39 Tran Quoc Toan Street and Tran Anh Trade and Service Company at 95 Ly Nam De street on May 24th.
Inspectors at Vinh Xuan Computer Company confiscated 21 computers and 25 CD ROMs of illegally copied software. At Tran Anh Trade and Services Company, 30 computers and 65 CD ROMs were seized.
Pirated software on the CD ROMs included Microsoft Windows XP operating system, Microsoft Office 2003 suite, Lac Viet multimedia dictionary, Vietkey and Norton Antivirus.
According to inspectors, the pirated software is worth an estimated US$200mil, meaning that not only software produced by foreign companies are being stolen, but now domestic products are also being illegally copied on large scale.
“Vietnam is a member of the Bern Convention, thus we are obliged to comply with its terms”, said Phan An Sa, chief inspector of Ministry of Culture and Information.
In the last year, Ministry of Culture and Information has collaborated with other relevant ministries to fight software infringements.
In future, the Ministry of Culture and Information will revise punishments based on Resolution No 21/2001/ND-CP dated 26/6/2001 concerning culture and information infringements.
Previously, Ministry of Culture and Information investigated and fined three computer companies in Hanoi in May 2004 and two others in Ho Chi Minh City in November, reflecting Vietnam’s determination in reducing software copyright infringement rate and also the government’s commitment to speed up exercising of industrial property right protection in the software industry.