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Shipping Company Gets Busted for Using Pirated Microsoft Software

Ravian Group of Companies, a reputable name in shipping industry of Pakistan, has been raided by police, under the orders of Sindh High Court, for violating Copyright Ordinance 1962 by using pirated software on their computers.

The Ravian Group of companies are engaged in shipping, transport and logistics business and are a well established name in the shipping and transport industry in Pakistan.

In the complaint, filed by Microsoft Pakistan in Sindh High Court, it was alleged that Ravian and its affiliate companies, including its Directors and IT Manager, was violating its Intellectual Property rights, by running unlicensed Microsoft software.

Microsoft also pleaded that it had undertaken a number of steps to draw the attention of Ravian’s management to the violations and to convince them to purchase licenses for the software being used in their company, but there was unfortunately no response from them to legalize their unlicensed software use.

After reviewing Microsoft’s plaint, the court concluded that there was enough substance in the plaint to grant a restraining order against Ravian and its affiliate companies and also appointed the Court Nazir as Commissioner, to raid the offices of Ravian along with the support of local police and IT Experts to determine the extent of unlicensed software usage by the Defendants

According to sources, the Court Nazir found a large number of PCs, including servers and laptops, in which various unlicensed versions of Microsoft software were purportedly being run, including the Microsoft Windows Operating System and Microsoft Office suite.

The curse of software piracy is a huge issue in Pakistan. As per the results of the recently announced 2010 Piracy Study, conducted annually by Business Software Alliance (BSA), the voice of the world’s software industry and its hardware partners, and the IDC, Pakistan is rated among the top 15 countries with the highest rate of software piracy.

As per the current study, the rate of software piracy in Pakistan was measured at 84% i.e. every 8 out of 10 PCs are running unlicensed software. Contrary to general impression, medium and large scale companies are also engaged in software piracy.

Mr. Kamal Ahmed, Country General Manager – Microsoft Pakistan, says that IPR violations have been a major problem in Pakistan and send a negative signal to the global community.

“Software piracy is a huge impediment in the development of IT sector in Pakistan. The country needs stricter enforcement of IPR laws as increased use of legitimate software will result in greater investment, both by local as well as international companies.

This will generate more IT jobs, improve tax collection and lead to more IT creativity. Considering the current challenges in attracting foreign investment into Pakistan, Microsoft advocates a strong IPR-friendly environment for economic and social prosperity.”

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