BANGKOK (AFP) – A Thai-Japanese engineering firm has paid the largest ever out-of-court settlement in southeast Asia for the use of pirated software, a software industry alliance announced this morning. “This settlement sends a very clear warning: using pirated software carries high risks and will result in severe financial penalties,” said Heuy Tan of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in Thailand. BSA, whose members include well-known software makers like Adobe, Microsoft and Lotus Development, did not reveal the amount of the settlement by engineering firm Thai-Kenzaisha. The pay-out follows a July raid on Thai-Kenzaisha’s premises here, during which police seized almost 185,000 dollars worth of computers and corporate software. BSA said the settlement included compensation for legal costs and damages, the replacment of pirated software with licensed products, the publication of public apologies to BSA, and agreement to undergo a software audit within a year. The BSA said it was stepping up its anti-piracy campaign, which included a 90-day grace period for corporate users to audit their software and replace illegal programs. A recent BSA and Software and Information Industry Association report said 38 percent of 615 million new business software applications installed worldwide in 1998 were pirated.
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