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Attorney General Announces Crackdown on Pirating

Fiscalia anuncia intensifican allanamientos por pirateria
Attorney General Announces Crackdown on Pirating

The District Attorney, Business Software Alliance-BSA and Dominican Microsoft announced the intensification of raids on commercial centers or sales points where computer equipment is found to be violating Law 65-00 that governs Intellectual Property and Authors Rights.

“This year we are intensifying inspections of these places, many of which have already been referred to judicial authorities,”

During the past several months, there have been more than 12 raids in the National District as well as the Province of Santo Domingo involving computer sales and assembling places where unlicensed programs are being installed in computers. As a result of the raids, more than 15 computers with illegally installed software programs were seized.

“This year we are intensifying inspections of these places, many of which have already been referred to judicial authorities,” said Magistrate Juan Luis Villanueva, Fiscal Authority for Intellectual Property.

He added that they will continue these processes until they begin to see a significant drop in pirated sales. He warned that the authorities will spare no effort to find and punish those who continue to steal and sell illegal software.

“We are aware that illegal sales not only affect the end users but also the motivation and impulse necessary for innovative creation. It has a negative impact on economic development for the companies and the national economy as well,” he added.

The attorney Jaime Angeles, BSA representative, said the Government Ministry has offered full support to the association he represents in order to continue keeping citizens and companies informed and alerted to changes that are not in keeping with the law and current norms.

Jaime Angeles also reported that “these actions send a strong message to computer distributors about the risks of stealing and pirating software. These inspections and raids are part of the actions we are taking to enforce Law 65-00 in favor of authors´ rights, intellectual property and the struggle against pirating.”

In keeping with a recent study done in 2008 by the IDC (International Data Corporation), 79% of the software packaged and installed on personal computers in the Dominican Republic this past year is illegal. According to the investigation, economic losses caused by the software pirating have grown from $19 million to $39 million in the past year alone. These losses are enough to encourage the government to continue the crackdown on pirating. This will ultimately provide significant benefits to local consumers, software sales and service businesses, small companies and the society in general.

Violation of Law 65-00, which defines the rights of authors as “the protection of literary, artistic or scientific works including all creations done in the IT environment, regardless of the way or form of expression, distribution, reproduction or communication.” The law establishes sanctions from fines to closure of businesses to jail terms.

Date of Publication: July 15, 2008

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