HK Customs launches crackdown on software piracy
( 2003-06-06 10:14) (8)
Customs officers of the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau raided on Thursday seven companies suspected of using pirated computer software in their business.
Starting on Monday, the officers conducted a four-day operation against corporate piracy. They raided eight commercial units during which they seized 26 computers containing pirated computer software worth HK$160,000 (US$20,000).
They arrested four men and a woman, aged between 32 and 49. All were released on bail, pending further enquiries.
"Initial investigations revealed that the seized computers were using pirated versions of some popular and valuable office software," a spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said.
The spokesman urged the public, in particular company managements, not to use pirated computer software in business or trade.
Under the Copyright Ordinance, anyone who knowingly possesses an illicit copy of a copyright work for use in business commits a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of HK$50,000 (US$6,400) per illicit copy in addition to four years imprisonment.