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BSA member Siemens PLM Software wins unlicensed software case

Zafar Anjum | July 3, 2014
Singapore police raid of St. Hua netted S$6.9 million worth of unlicensed software

When St. Hua Private School Pte. Ltd. was running software training programmes using unlicensed software as a private school, a member of the BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) made a move against it.

The Alliance, which is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace, today announced that its member Siemens PLM Software has won a judgment against St. Hua Private School Pte. Ltd. The latter has been found to have illegally used unlicensed copies of its software from 2010 to 2012 (S$6.9 million worth of unlicensed software).

The company's (St. Hua Private School) director, Sophia Song Chunwei, who was also charged and convicted for this crime, is a director of a former reseller of Siemens PLM software.

In June of 2012, the Intellectual Property Rights Branch of the Singapore Police Force conducted a raid of St. Hua's premises and discovered 15 copies of suspected unlicensed NXTM software from Siemens PLM Software on various computers and laptops.

Following the raid, St. Hua and its director, Song Chunwei, were prosecuted and found guilty of wilful copyright infringement to obtain a commercial advantage (under Section 136(3A) of the Copyright Act. The company has been ordered to pay a fine of S$18,000 and Song has been ordered to pay a fine of S$20,000.Both have appealed against their respective sentences.

In recent years, BSA said that it has been intensifying its education and awareness efforts regarding the risks of use of unlicensed software.  According to the latest Global Software Survey, commissioned by BSA and conducted by independent research firm IDC, Singapore has an unlicensed software rate of 32 percent amounting to a value of US$344 million in 2013, indicating the severity of the problem and the urgent need for action.

"BSA Members are committed to keeping their respective software supply chains clean for the benefit and protection of their customers.   BSA Members value their intellectual property rights (IPR) in their products, and when necessary, will enforce them," said Tarun Sawney, BSA's Senior Director of Enforcement, Asia-Pacific. "The law enforcement authorities in Singapore demonstrated that they take infringement of IPR seriously and are willing to take firm action against the use of infringing software in the workplace.  Therefore, businesses should ensure that the software they are using is legal and fully licensed."



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