Ministry’s agency unveils use of 45 unlicensed softwares across multiple sectors

Graphics courtesy of Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (MDTC)’s Enforcement Division has uncovered extensive use of unlicensed softwares by many companies following raids carried out by the division in the recent months.

In a press release today, the division disclosed that the breaches were seen in a range of business sectors nationwide after having raided 14 companies.

It found the use of a total of 45 illegal software units across 16 personal computers (PCs) and 8 laptops between January 2020 and August 2023. The combined infringement value was estimated to be RM995,000.

The raids were carried out on organisations from various backgrounds, including those involved in the engineering, architecture as well as oil and gas sectors.

MDTC’s ongoing enforcement activities under the Malaysia’s Copyright Act of 1987 is a clear message that the Ministry is firm about protecting the safety and copyright of works produced in Malaysia, the statement said.

The use of licensed software in critical sectors is important to uphold safety standards and mitigate potential risks posed to the public.
One of the methods uncovered during MDTC’s enforcement operations included end users initially presenting outdated software licenses to falsely imply compliance, only to be exposed as using unlicensed software for newer versions during thorough PC checks.

Among the programmes that were being used without an official license were AutoCAD, 3ds Max, and V-Ray.
MDTC said it will continue with its efforts to ensure compliance with legislation related to unlicensed software, especially in sectors that play a pivotal role in the nation’s economic development.

In accordance with the Copyright Act of 1987, businesses are required to use licensed and legally acquired software within their operations. Violating the law can subject both the company and its leadership to substantial penalties, ranging from RM2,000 to RM20,000 for each instance of illegal software use. Additionally, violators may face imprisonment of up to five years.