Fri, 23 Feb 2001

Microsoft sues five PC dealers for piracy

JAKARTA (JP): Microsoft Corp. has filed separate lawsuits against five computer dealers in Jakarta, as the giant software company clamps down on the rampant piracy of its products in Indonesia.

The suits are based on the results of a test purchase-program that will be used as evidence in court.

All five computer dealers were caught installing Microsoft products on the PCs they sold without complying with the terms of the products' licenses, the company's office in Jakarta said in a statement.

"This is proof of illegal duplication; installing Microsoft software on computers sold to customers without the documents, the licensing agreement, the original disks and manual," it said.

It identified the five dealers as PT Panca Putera Komputindo, HM Komputindo, Procom, HJ Computer and Altec Computer.

"These steps have been taken to educate computer dealers in Indonesia of the need to respect intellectual property rights," the statement said.

Huey Sze Tan, Microsoft's lawyer, said the company treated violations of intellectual property rights very seriously.

"Microsoft is committed to protecting honest dealers; those who distribute its products with valid licenses," Huey said in the statement.

Those who violate intellectual property rights could face a maximum of seven years in prison and a Rp 100 million (US$10,500) fine.

Indonesia has been ranked by Microsoft as among the worst offenders in Asia when it comes to protecting software from piracy.

Huey said he was satisfied the courts in Indonesia were serious in handling intellectual property rights cases. He noted that a judge last month sent a computer dealer to jail and fined him Rp 20 million for selling pirated software. (emb)