Joint campaign by Penang ICT Association, domestic trade ministry and Microsoft Malaysia
ICT distributors and retailers pledge to stop piracy by only recommending and selling genuine software
THE Penang ICT Association (Picta) and Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, in partnership with Microsoft Malaysia, have launched the ‘Go Genuine Campaign’ in an effort to eradicate software piracy and counterfeiting in the northern Malaysian state.
The launch saw Penang’s ICT distributors and retailers pledging to stop piracy by only recommending and selling genuine software to customers, Microsoft Malaysia said in a statement.
The Go Genuine Campaign also seeks to educate ICT distributors and retailers, and their employees, to respect intellectual property rights by selling only genuine software to consumers and businesses.
Ultimately, this will lead to protecting users from the risks of counterfeit software, Microsoft Malaysia said.
The campaign will also contribute to the overall health of the ICT retail ecosystem, as honest PC retailers selling genuine software can now compete on a level playing field with fair competition, the company claimed.
“Picta and its members are proud to pledge their commitment to the Go Genuine campaign, which is the first of its kind in Penang,” said the association’s secretary Too Tean Lai (pic).
“Through this campaign, we hope to empower our members and other computer retailers and distributors with the necessary knowledge and incentives to curb software piracy and support fair trade and healthy competitive practices,” he said.
Some computer retailers encounter piracy issues because their sales people are tempted to help customers load pirated software, so the campaign helps Picta members understand the importance and benefits of stopping software piracy and selling genuine software, Microsoft Malaysia said in its statement.
In March, the Melaka state government, in conjunction with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), became the first state government in Malaysia to make a zero-piracy pledge.
Its Zero Piracy 2013 campaign leveraged BSA's Licence Management Registry 360 (LMR360), which lets companies use the LMR360 software in managing and updating software licences, and ultimately acquiring certification on declaring compliance.
According to Mohd Salleh Ma'amor, state director of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives & Consumerism in Penang, the Go Genuine Campaign was a positive step in addressing software piracy and a strong example for the rest of Malaysia.
“The Ministry has always strived to create a safer digital environment for Malaysian consumers and businesses. Counterfeiting and software piracy pose a real threat not just to its users, but to the entire ICT industry as a whole.
“This is why the MDTCC conducts enforcement activities to eradicate the sale and distribution of counterfeit software,” Mohd Salleh (pic) said.
The launch of the campaign saw Picta and its members sign a Go Genuine pledge, as a sign of commitment to stop software piracy and counterfeiting. Under this pledge, participating members will:
Recommend and sell only genuine software to customers
Display and sell PCs preinstalled with genuine software. Naked PCs (or PCs that are not preinstalled with genuine software) will not be displayed or sold because they encourage piracy or may give an opportunity for salespersons to load pirated software at customers’ request
PC retailer owners will ensure all salespersons are aware of the risk of termination and possible prosecution if they assist the customer to load pirated software
Salespersons agree to also not direct customers to third parties who may load pirated software for the customers as they may be regarded as an accessory to the offence
The campaign was a prime opportunity to recognise and promote IT distributors and retailers that ‘Go Genuine,’ said Jonathan Selvasegaram, regional attorney, Intellectual Property Crimes Unit, Microsoft Operations Pte Ltd.
“We are committed to our long term partnership with Picta and the Ministry to stop the sale and distribution of counterfeit software.
“We take very seriously our responsibility to protect consumers and businesses from the productivity and security risks associated with counterfeit software, such as malware. Counterfeit software often fails to operate properly, and presents a real risk of security breaches as well as a loss of business data, reputation and cost to recover from them.
“With the Go Genuine campaign, we will work together with Picta to build awareness on the benefits of pledging to go genuine, and with the Ministry and the industry as a whole to support enforcement initiatives against software piracy,” he added.
Microsoft also advises consumers and businesses to take the following steps to avoid the inadvertent purchase of pirated software:
When purchasing a new PC, always insist on installing a genuine copy of the operating system.
Buy from a trusted or authorised reseller and avoid deals that seem “too good to be true.”
Ensure all software purchases come in their original packaging.
When buying a PC with Windows, look for the genuine label and Certificate of Authenticity that Microsoft requires be affixed to all PCs on which Windows is pre-installed. As a further check after purchase, log on to http://www.howtotell.com/ to confirm the label is authentic.
Customers who suspect they’ve received pirated or counterfeit software are encouraged to report it at www.microsoft.com/piracy.
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