Thailand eyes IP list removal

Thailand eyes IP list removal

A police officer at the Economic Crime Suppression Division displays illegal software that was being sold online. Police aim to educate citizens on the negative effects of using pirated goods. (Photo by Juraporn Kuhakan)
A police officer at the Economic Crime Suppression Division displays illegal software that was being sold online. Police aim to educate citizens on the negative effects of using pirated goods. (Photo by Juraporn Kuhakan)

The government has set an ambitious target to remove Thailand from the US's Priority Watch List for intellectual property in 2017 through new enforcement measures.

Thailand remains on the watch list for the ninth straight year.

The Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) of the Royal Thai Police is gearing up to educate people and companies to avoid using pirated intellectual property and copyrighted goods in a drive to speed up the country's removal from the watch list, said Pol Col Winai Wongbuppa, deputy commander of the ECD.

He said the ECD has observed a decline in the level of software piracy this year.

The rate of pirated software in Thailand was 69% in 2015, down from 71% in 2014.

Last month, the ECD in collaboration with Microsoft took down an online vendor selling AAA-grade counterfeit software on Facebook. As a consequence, the vendor was charged with violating copyright laws and potentially faces up to four years in prison and an additional fine of 100,000-800,000 baht.

Krittiya Eamsiri, head of software asset management and compliance at Microsoft Thailand, said the case marked the country's first bust involving AAA-grade counterfeit goods.

Microsoft has set up an educational website, www.microsoft.com/en-us/howtotell, to empower customers and partners with tips on how to distinguish genuine products from illegal ones.

Pol Col Winai said in the first six months of this year, the ECD opened 115 cases and seized 1,122 computers that had installed pirated software worth a combined 197.5 million baht. In the previous year, 239 cases involving 500 million baht in pirated software were opened.

The manufacturing, construction and wholesale/retail sectors were among the biggest violators last year.

Pol Col Winai cited a report by global IT research firm IDC saying 86% of computers globally that download pirated or counterfeit software programmes will get malware infections on their computers.

Thailand registered 4,300 cybersecurity attacks in 2015, 35% of which were caused by malicious code.

Thailand is ranked second for cybersecurity threats in Asean, following Indonesia.

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