News Column

Exporters caught using pirated software may face lifetime ban

January 29, 2014

"Ahmedabad: Recently, a garment manufacturer in Bangalore had been banned by the US after a middle man in Thailand used pirated software, said Dr K Rangarajan, head, Centre for MSME Studies, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, IIFT Kolkata, while delivering a lecture on 'Emerging Issues and Risks in Supply Chain', at a seminar on 'Importance of IT compliance in automobile industry, organised by FICCI here on Tuesday.

As per the new US law, Unfair Competition Act, if an exporter is found using pirated software there are high possibilities the company may face a ban for lifetime. In the wake of this law, the dependence on genuine software and hardware has increased among the Indianmanufacturers and exporters.

The commercial value of unlicensed software is estimated to be around $51.4 billion (over Rs3 lakh crore) across world. However, in India the commercial value of pirated software was just around Rs18,000 crore in 2011.

Hence, it is an opportunity for Indian exporters, particularly in automotive sector. "Given the dependence of automotive manufacturing sector on IT systems, use of genuine software and hardware will become a critical factor to be in a competitive market.

 As the piracy rate of software in India is less than some of the countries competing for the US market there lies an opportunity for Indian exporters to move towards early compliance," said Rangarajan.

If caught by the US, penalty is not the only worrying factor, he said. "The most concerned factor for exporters is that he or she will be banned from doing business in US. This will be a big loss," he said.

BSA, the software alliance organisation, said that piracy in India is reducing.

"At present, the pirated software has a share of 63% in India. This has been reduced by 10% in last seven years. It is good that awareness is being created in which people are moving towards licensed software," said manager-programmes, BSA, Gouri Thounaojam.

Microsoft to fund IPR chair at GNLU

Soon, Gujarat National Law University will get Intellectual Property Right (IPR) chair, which will consist of at least three officials creating awareness on IPR. It will focus on education, research and training on IPR. Software giant Microsoft has agreed to fund the project. "Microsoft will fund the project of IPR chair at GNLU. The amount is yet not disclosed," said senior attorney and director intellectual property, legal & corporate affairs, Microsoft Corporation, Vipin Aggarwal.


Credit:dna correspondent

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Source: DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)

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