Bid to reduce pirated software
The Economic Crime Division (ECD) expects to reduce the use of pirated software in the country to 68 per cent in 2013 from about 70 per cent in 2012.
The Department of Intellectual Property Department has also proposed a new law to the cabinet to suppress illegal software. It expects the law to be implemented by the end of this year.
The ECD deputy commander and spokesperson, Chainarong Charoenchainao, said illegal software use in Thailand last year reached at 70 per cent but by the end of 2013, the department expects to reduce it to 68 per cent.
The ECD also hoped that Thailand would be removed from the US Special 301 Report, which has classified Thailand under a Priority Watch List for the last five years.
He said that police in 2012 raided 182 businesses nationwide and found pirated software on 4,573 PCs, valued at about Bt447 million. Japanese auto-parts producers make up the largest group using pirated software with an infringement value of Bt19.5 million, followed by software related to construction and manufacturing in non-metal industries.
He added that the department would encourage businesses and consumers to utilise legal software. It warned that IT malls who allowed purchase of illegal software would face arrest.
Meanwhile, International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that in 2012 the regional average for PC software piracy in the Asia Pacific was 72 per cent, while Thailand's is 70 per cent. In the global market, software piracy reached about 42 per cent, valued at Bt1.9 trillion. Software piracy in Thailand was estimated at about 1 per cent of the global market.
To promote the usage of legal software by government agencies nationwide, Pajchima Tanasanti, director-general at the Intellectual Property Department of the Commerce Ministry, said that the National Intellectual Property Policy Committee had set up the National Intellectual Property Rights Violations Suppression Centre (NISC).
The centre will have participation by about 25 related government agencies such as the Royal Thai Police, the Department of Special Investigation, the Customs Department, the Department of Intellectual Property, the Office of Consumer Protection and other. It will seek to enforce more than 30 laws and regulations related to IPR enforcement. Multi-agency working groups will be formed to tackle specific IP issues such as Internet piracy or counterfeit consumer goods.
The Department of Intellectual Property is currently amending the Copyright Act 1994 to provide further protection of copyrighted work in the digital environment. This amendment has already been approved by the Cabinet and has been submitted to Parliament for consideration. The department expects that the new act will be implemented within this year.
She said the department also plans to ask Microsoft to reduce the cost of Microsoft Office software to government agencies by up to 80 per cent so that the government can have a budget for purchase of legal software.
Pajchima added that in 2011, about 40 per cent of software privacy involved downloads from the Internet and the rest is illegal software purchased at IT shops nationwide. However, in 2012, 50 per cent of software piracy downloads were from the Internet and the rest from IT shops and IT malls.