Welcome back to V.i. Labs’ weekly update on intellectual property law and software licensing. This week FAST voiced concerns over the UK's Digital Economy Act, Thai police raided a coconut milk factory, Adobe conducted a raid in South Africa and the BSA rebranded itself. Read on and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Google+ and our RSS feed to get the latest news.
We are also gathering questions for a new feature on Code Confidential called “Ask Vic!” where you can ask Victor DeMarines, our software piracy, protection and licensing expert a question. Please send us your questions today!
According to the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST), the UK’s Digital Economy Act (DEA) falls short by not addressing the risks associated with advances in technology. FAST argues that the DEA, an anti-piracy law passed in 2010 and set to go into full effect 2014, should be extended to cover public Wi-Fi and 4G technology. Currently the DEA’s anti-piracy measures only apply to fixed-line broadband connections.
Ofcom, the UK agency responsible for implementing the DEA, responded, saying that “Our conversations with industry suggest peer-to-peer file-sharing on mobile networks is not a major problem, but it's important the scope is reviewed to ensure the code takes account of developments in technology.”
FAST’s concern regarding Wi-Fi and 4G is not unwarranted. As anyone with access to LTE is aware, 4G speeds can actually top that of consumer grade broadband connections. Verizon is even rolling out a LTE solution aimed to replace DSL in select areas of the US.
Last week, the Thai Economic Crime Division raided one of Thailand’s biggest producers of coconut milk looking for software piracy. Inside they found 224 computers with illegally installed software worth about $300,000 USD, making it the largest software infringement case in Thailand this year.
Thailand, like many developing countries, is struggling with software piracy. Since January the Economic Crime Division has raided 147 companies, finding illegal software on 3,869 computers with a total value over $10 Million USD.
Over the past few years, Thailand has been making a concerted effort to reduce the country’s piracy rate, which the BSA pegged at 72% in 2011. The high rate of software piracy is a contributing factor to Thailand’s place on the US Special 301 Report’s Priority Watch List.
The Special 301 is an annual report that identifies countries that do not provide “adequate and effective” protection of intellectual property rights. Countries on the Priority Watch List are considered to have inadequate intellectual property laws and may be subject to sanctions.
With the help of the Commercial Crime Unit of South African Police Services (SAPS), Adobe conducted a raid on a computer business in Johannesburg. Two suspects were arrested for selling counterfeit software and installing unlicensed software on computers. The two defendants admitted their wrongdoing and eventually pleaded guilty in court.
During the raid, Adobe confiscated documents and data containing extensive lists of the business’ illegal customers. Adobe will be using this intelligence to conduct further investigations and plans to take action against organizations discovered not to be in compliance.
According to the BSA, “Our new brand illustrates how BSA is intensifying its focus on fighting software piracy, protecting the intellectual property rights that drive technology innovation, breaking down trade barriers, and advancing the global cloud computing market. “
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Vice President, Products & Strategy at Revulytics
Victor DeMarines brings extensive security product management and marketing experience to Revulytics, where he is responsible for product strategy and direction. He is a frequent speaker and author on topics including piracy, reverse engineering and the protection of intellectual property.
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