Unlicensed software remains common among corporations and IT sectors in Southeast Asia, whether due to indifference, intent or neglect.
BSA the Software Alliance, a global trade association of software publishers, warns that the use of unlicensed software poses serious security, business and legal risks to the users and their industries.
BSA’s “Legalise and Protect” campaign sees it working with governments and other partners to educate companies about the significant risks they face when they use software that is not genuine or not fully licensed.
BSA members’ software products are used in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, IT, finance, professional services, construction, healthcare, consumer goods, engineering, architecture and design.
BSA is working with the Thai government, using its database of thousands of companies in Thailand under watch for possible violations.
In coming months BSA will launch public education efforts to ensure business leaders are aware of the risks of using unlicensed software.
“By legalising their software, companies can protect data security, protect competitiveness, protect their reputations – and protect against the risk of legal consequences,” said BSA senior director Tarun Sawney. “The sooner companies legalise, the sooner they can protect their operations and ultimately protect their bottom lines.”
The Asia-Pacific region has the highest rate of unlicensed software use in the world at 57 per cent. A problem of this scale is best tackled by changing minds and behaviour to encourage self-regulation and voluntary compliance, Tarun said.
BSA has thus oriented its campaign primarily to discourage companies from installing and using unlicensed or illegal software – not just for fear of enforcement, but because it is in their best interests to do so.