BSA | The Software Alliance announced the launch of helplines across Southeast Asia to help businesses in the engineering, infrastructure and construction industries amid reports of rampant use of unlicensed engineering and design software by practitioners in these industries.
In a statement, BSA said the launch of the hotlines will help professionals cope with the challenges related to software copyright compliance. BSA is a leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace.
In launching the helpline, BSA cited of reports about “ghost piracy”, in which authorities report that design professionals working from home are illegally accessing illegal software at their offices while working remotely on engineering, construction and animation design projects.
The BSA helplines are being launched in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
Representatives taking the calls will be able to share information and connect callers with software licensing experts who can help ensure that companies using the appropriate approach to software compliance and ensure that companies have the right licenses in place to work legally and effectively.
BSA executives said that there is a special concern when design firms working on engineering and construction projects for national infrastructure use illegal software for designs.
“The primary reason we launched the helpline is because genuine, licensed software is the first line of defence in cyber security,” said BSA Senior Director Tarun Sawney.
BSA wants to help as many organizations as possible recognize the benefits or using licensed software.
“Unlicensed software is not safe. And particularly when professionals are designing public infrastructure… there is no excuse for carelessness in what kind of software is used. As a matter of public and national safety, only licensed, safe, secure software should be employed in construction and engineering design projects,” BSA said.
In Thailand, for example, the Economic and Cyber Crime police officers reported raiding an animation studio in Bangkok that was creating entertainment content for a global streaming platform. While officers executed a search warrant for violation of software copyright law, they witnessed workers at home remotely utilizing computers in the office to complete design work.
The company had 20 computers in the office, 15 of which contained unlicensed Autodesk Maya programs, being used for movie and animation special effects. Total value of the unlicensed software was nearly $200,000.
“The construction and engineering industries are at risk of cyber threat – and must take action to protect their businesses by using only licensed, genuine design software. The structures they build for the Philippines are used by all of us. We cannot risk the integrity of our structures and so leaders in the construction industry have a responsibility to ensure that not only are they using a licensed design software, but that all their suppliers and vendors are also using a genuine design software,” said Christine Marie L. Suntay, Executive Director, Optical Media Board
According to BSA, business leaders should take a proactive approach to managing their company’s software assets. This includes communications to staff members about procedures and processes for software use, and a clear directive to avoid use of illegal software.
Larger companies are encouraged to implement a Software Asset Management program to ensure compliance.
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