Customs crushes unlicensed software activities

14 Mar 2008

Customs yesterday (March 13) launched an operation in Chai Wan, Kwun Tong and Yuen Long, targeting at computer shops that might offer pre-loading unlicensed software for free to customers.

For the first time, a computer shop in possession of 23 sets of computer installed with suspected infringing software was found to be charging customers for playing online games at the shop. The charge was about $20 for three hours.

In the operation, Customs seized an additional three sets of computer with infringing software in test purchases by Customs officers posing as customers.

Overall, Customs officers seized 26 sets of computer and 102 pirated disks of computer software. The total seizure value was about $140,000.

Three men, aged 21 to 36, were arrested.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department today (March 14) reminded members of the public that anyone who possesses pirated computer software in the course of business will commit a criminal offence.

Under the Copyright Ordinance, anyone who knowingly uses pirated software in business or distributes an infringing copy of a copyright work in the course of business which consists of dealing in that infringing copy commits a criminal offence. The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of $50,000 per article and imprisonment for four years.

Ends/Friday, March 14, 2008

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