The action was initiated through the Power of Attorney for Microsoft in Sri Lanka, and Sudath Perera Associates acted as the legal representatives of Microsoft. A number of notebooks installed with suspected pirated software were taken into Police custody for further inspection and to be produced in Court.
The Sri Lanka Police are focused on taking action on an on-going basis against resellers and traders across major cities in Sri Lanka selling pirated software and illegal COAs (Certificate of Authenticity, software labels) in their business. These resellers and traders are, by now, clearly aware that this is a criminal offence and yet continue to disregard the law.
Jonathan Selvasegaram, Attorney, Microsoft Corporation in Singapore, stated: "This raid confirms that the alarming unethical business practice of installing pirated software into branded notebooks occurs in Sri Lanka, and illustrates the Police will conduct enforcement actions against computer retailers who flout the law. According to our sources this happens throughout the country, not just within Colombo or Unity Plaza. It is of particular concern because customers in Sri Lanka may be duped into using pirated software, exposing them to the risk of malware infection, which could lead to financial, privacy and security risks."
Selvasegaram stressed that PC manufacturers need to do their part in curbing the pervasive risk of malware infections, noting "to drive sales more and more branded computers are now being sold without any software. Such computers are likely shipped without operating systems, which are later installed by individuals in the downstream supply chain or retail channel who deal in the illegal duplication and distribution of pirated software."
Equally, customers may unwittingly be purchasing counterfeit or pirated software, believing they are buying genuine software. "Often times, buyers are duped into believing that purchasing a branded computer guarantees them original and licensed software, not knowing that the computer retailer may have pre-installed the computer with pirated software. Unknown to many buyers, computers loaded with pirated software come with many security risks," explained Selvasegaram.