Brunei Darussalam

SOFTWARE PIRACY. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS.

What you don’t know can hurt. Big time.

In the midst of a mid year two-week school holiday, I attended a half day seminar organised by BSA at the Empire Hotel on the 24th June. The topic: Business Optimisation with Good Governance: Staying Compliant with Software Asset Management. Quite a mouthful but in short, the seminar touched on the importance of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), the Brunei Copyright Law and its enforcement in our country.

In my COPYRIGHT. LOST IN TRANSLATION. post, I wrote about how the internet was responsible for the many IPR related crimes that are committed in anonymity in the context of photography. Illegal computer software downloads are no different. The subject of software piracy has long been never ending debate between software publishers, the consumers (corporations and end-users alike) and enforcers of intellectual property rights. Some claim piracy is a necessary evil in a developing country where people “cannot afford the cost of genuine software.” The question remains, with the threat of enforcement looming in the horizon, can businessness afford not to legitimise their software?

As per RanoAdidas I was particularly interested in the enforcement aspect of the seminar. I have spent considerable efforts in understanding through research how countries such as USA and the UK deal with photography copyright infringements and the various levels of pro-active defence strategies photographers there have taken to ensure such crimes continue to get the visibility to foster a better informed society. Sadly, as mature as their legal framework designed to handle such matters is, the very question of what’s right or wrong still remains very gray. Sigh!

I attended the seminar strictly as a guest of BSA but I kept myself pretty busy throughout the event—something about old habits that need changing just as people’s attitude towards piracy and copyright violation requires a serious mindset change!


© Jan Shim Photography

Launching the seminar was the Honourable Minister of Communications, Pehin Dato Haji Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong. The Honourable Minister said, “The software piracy study released today and the seminar conducted by BSA is a move towards the right direction for the country. Strong Intellectual Property Rights protection is crucial in the development of the IT industry, especially in our efforts to attract as much foreign direct investments (FDIs) as possible … my Ministry is committed to supporting the need for greater awareness amongst the public on the risks of using pirated software.”


© Jan Shim Photography

The Attorney General’s Chambers presented on IP related topics and “commented that the presence of the BSA in Brunei Darussalam is evidence of a commitment on the part of software owners to join the government in its quest to promote greater protection for IPR. On the part of AGC, it pledged to uphold the copyright laws of the country with the assistance of the copyright holders who would provide the necessary expertise in supporting a legal case.”


© Jan Shim Photography

The one thing which photography and computer software have in common is also the one thing that make them different. Ownership. When a client buys a computer software, he/she enters into a Rights-To-Use (RTU) agreement with the software publisher. Client does not own the software. Ownership of photographs, on the other hand, isn’t so clear cut. It would appear that software piracy is easier to determine than a photographic copyright infringement, a subject of much debate and controversy discussed here.

Roland Chan, Director of BSA Marketing Asia presented a token of appreciation to the Honourable Minister.


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

IPR Enforcement. Repesentative from the Commercial Crime Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force was present.


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

Allen Shim (no relations), the new (day time) voice of Pilihan Radio with Chan Wan Kong (right), Country Manager of Microsoft Brunei Darussalam.


© Jan Shim Photography

SEHAT, the official water that quenches the thirst of participants, is a regular and permanent feature of events held at the Indera Katangan Ballroom of the Empire Hotel & Country Club.


© Jan Shim Photography

BSA is the voice of the world’s commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international market place.

Members of the Business Software Alliance include:
Adobe | Agilent Technologies | Altium | Apple | Autodesk | Avid | Bentley Systems | Borland | CA | Cadence Design Systems | Cisco Systems | CNC Software/Mastercam | Corel | Cyberlink | Dell | EMC | Frontline PCB Solutions – An Orbotech Valor Company | HP | IBM | Intel | INUS Technology | McAfee | Microsoft | Mindjet | Minitab | Monotype Imaging | PTC | Quark | Quest Software | SAP | SAS Institute | Siemens PLM Software | Solidworks | SPSS | Sybase | Symantec | Synopsys | Tekla | The MathWorks | Trend Micro

9 thoughts on “SOFTWARE PIRACY. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS.

  1. A lot of pics during the event huh? Let me guess, you used the 70-200mm and the 100mm macro, right? How’s the BSA event anyway?

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  2. A lot of gaming companies have switched to console development. While there is still piracy in consoles, its less likely to happen as it is on software.

    Crysis, recently switched its focus to console development. If you dont know who they are, they are like Id Software in that they produce 3D engines to sell.

    PC Gaming is still strong though as its a great power platform and can only help the consoles.

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  3. @ Mark
    The event was organised by BSA. I had inaccurately stated otherwise. Regardless, there were a number of speakers from various organisations so with certain slides that may be on a non-disclosure basis, presenters use their own laptop that may very well be a Mac. FWIW, the Mac failed to communicate with the projector!

    @ Addict59
    The room was cold and moving about kept temps at comfortable levels so whilst I was ducking RTB cameras at the front to catch the restrum shots, I was also at the back to catch some art shots. No 100mm just the 5D and 70-200mm this time, with 580EX fill.

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  4. Interesting, well it is hard to control something like software piracy, when everyone who has access or not to the Internet is a potential “pirate”. its going to take a lot of hard work to put a halt to something that seems to be unstoppable. but call me been overly optimistic, for just like the problems we are having with the climate, oil and food its a world wide occurrence and i believe it can be solved, so do i also believe that one day software piracy will be cut to a minimal. and it only can be done if everyone plays their part to put a stop to it.

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