The average company caught using illegal software this year has annual revenues of 235 million baht, indicating that large companies continue to violate Thailand’s copyright laws protecting software intellectual property.  

The manufacturing and construction industries are among those most commonly reported for illegal software use.  So far this year, police have raided 158 companies for using pirated software.  Combined, police have found illegal software loaded onto 1,800 PCs.  Of the companies raided this year, on average they are illegally using 2.4 million baht worth of pirated software.

“These statistics indicate that Thai businesses need to improve their IT governance to ensure they are using only legal software,” said ECD Deputy Commander and Spokesperson Kitti Sapaothong, adding that software created by Thai developers is found in almost 15 percent of the raids.  “The police will continue to do our duty to follow every lead about intellectual property violations.  There should be a level playing field in which all companies are following the law.  We cannot allow business to cut corners by using illegal methods.”

ECD Police encourage all business leaders to assess their software license status to ensure legality.  Police say addressing the use of illegal software inside companies requires a hands-on approach by executives, just as they would take a hands-on approach to addressing other corporate risks.

“We ask the business community to be proactive in managing their software.  Executives should know what software is being used and rid their business of any illegal software,” said Pol. Col. Kitti. “We believe there are thousands of businesses using illegal software, and this brings problems to Thailand in the areas of trade and cyber security.  It is a problem that we need to solve in partnership with business leaders.”

Of the raids conducted by police in 2014, several standout for the volume of illegal software police found being used by employees.  These include a construction company caught using 15 million baht worth of Autodesk software; a Bangkok-based engineering consultancy using 11 million baht worth of Autodesk software and a Samut Prakan-based Thai-Chinese mold manufacturer caught using 10.8 million baht worth of software made by Autodesk, CNC MasterCAM, Microsoft, Siemens PLM Software, and ThaiSoftware.

To date in 2014, police raids have taken place in the following provinces: Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Suphan Buri, Chiang Mai, Phetchaburi, Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Rayong, Chachoengsao, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phuket and Krabi.

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