Hong Kong Cracks Down on Piracy

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The intellectual property department of the Hong Kong government has been presented the 'Government Best Practices: Asia Pacific' for fighting software piracy.

The tribute comes from the Business Software Alliance, in recognition of department's efforts in promoting the use of genuine software in businesses.

Dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is an international organization that designs programs to foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce.

Software Asset Management

The award recognizes the outstanding intellectual property rights (IPR) achievements of the Hong Kong government in combating end-user software piracy through the promotion of software asset management (SAM) practices to local organizations, under the Genuine Business Software Campaign first launched in 2006.

"It is vital that we educate businesses about the importance of software asset management to maintain a healthy, innovation-driven, knowledge economy," said Peter Cheung, acting director of the intellectual property department of the Hong Kong government.

"We are grateful that our anti-piracy efforts have been recognized by the BSA, and we hope this award would raise even greater awareness of intellectual property rights in Hong Kong," Cheung said.

This year, the central theme of the award-winning campaign was a fully-funded SAM consultancy program aimed at educating and promoting good SAM practices by local organizations, and helping Hong Kong businesses to be better prepared for the new provisions of the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007, which came into effect on 11 July 2008.

Through a multi-channel outreach effort, more than 50,000 organizations were approached during the campaign, and 648 organizations had formally signed up to join the program.

IPR protection Encouraged

The SAM consultancy program promoted software asset management as a model practice that enhanced productivity and security in the workplace. Software compliance guidelines were also distributed through a variety of channels, including electronic direct mailing, direct mailing, telemarketing calls, advertising and seminars.

Feedback evaluations showed that more than 85 percent of the participating organizations found the program service and content beneficial in helping them to better manage their software assets.

"The Hong Kong government has made tremendous progress in combating end-user software piracy as part of its efforts to build a strong, knowledge-based economy. Enforcement aside, awareness building and education are also important components in any campaign that seeks to encourage the use of legal software in the marketplace. The most notable milestone in the government's endeavors has been the Genuine Business Software Campaign", said Jeffrey Hardee, vice president and regional director, Asia of the BSA.

"We commend the efforts of the Hong Kong government to encourage innovation through stronger intellectual property protection and we also applaud the government for providing the region with a shining example of how, in partnership with industry, to educate and assist businesses to adopt software asset management and embrace software licence compliance," said Hardee.

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