BSA helpline to fight unlicensed software

Pol Col Kraivis warns business leaders to beware of cybercrimes.

Leading global software trade group BSA has launched helplines in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to help businesses in the engineering, infrastructure and construction industries cope with challenges related to software copyright compliance.

The decision followed reports about “ghost piracy”, in which authorities report that design professionals working from home are illegally accessing software at their offices while working remotely on engineering, construction, and animation design projects.

In Thailand, professionals working in the design industries are encouraged to dial 065-060-7402 to learn more about processes their companies can undertake to improve software licence compliance.

Representatives taking the calls will be able to share information and connect callers with software licensing experts who can help ensure that companies use the appropriate approach to software compliance and make sure that firms have the right licences in place to work legally and effectively.

Tarun Sawney, senior director at BSA, said there was a special concern over design firms working on engineering and construction projects for national infrastructure using illegal software for designs.

“The primary reason we launched the helpline is because genuine, licensed software is the first line of defence in cybersecurity,” he said. “BSA wants to help as many organisations as possible recognise the benefits of using licensed software. Unlicensed software is not safe. And particularly when professionals are designing public infrastructure, there is no excuse for carelessness in what kind of software is used.”

Earlier in June, economic and cybercrime police officers in Thailand raided an animation studio in Bangkok that was creating entertainment content for a global streaming platform.

While officers executed a search warrant for violation of software copyright law, they witnessed workers at home remotely utilising computers in the office to complete design work.

The company had 20 computers in the office, 15 of which contained unlicensed Autodesk Maya programs being used for movie and animation special effects.

The total value of the unlicensed software was 7.29 million baht.

Pol Col Kraivis Santaweesook, superintendent 1 of the Economic Crime Suppression Division, stressed that business leaders have a responsibility to society to ensure that what they create is done using genuine software.

“Business leaders should take a proactive approach to manage their software assets. Many business leaders may think cybercrime cannot happen to them, but in fact it can,” he said.

“Business leaders should communicate clearly about the need to use only licensed, genuine software in their businesses.”