BSA announces raids and legal actions against end users for suspected software copyright infringement

Business Wire

May 22, 1991

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Business Software Alliance (BSA) held press conferences Wednesday in Milan, Italy and Seoul, South Korea at which it announced surprise raids and legal actions against companies suspected of using unauthorized software copies.

``Worldwide, the piracy problem cost the software industry an estimated US$10-$12 billion in 1990,'' said BSA Managing Director Robert Holleyman speaking today in Seoul. ``To combat this problem, the BSA is moving forward throughout Asia and Europe with coordinated action against software piracy practiced by users and dealers.''

In Seoul, the BSA announced the filing of legal actions against two companies in South Korea -- Dae Lim Motorcycle Marketing and Sales Co. Ltd. and Tae Young Industrial Co. Ltd. -- for the alleged unauthorized copying of software.

The legal actions were filed by BSA members Ashton-Tate, Lotus Development, and Microsoft and resulted from surprise raids conducted by Seoul police earlier this month on the operations of Dae Lim and Tae Young. Suspected unauthorized software copies were found on the premises of both Dae Lim and Tae Young, and the cases are now in the hands of the Seoul Prosecutor's Office.

In Italy, the BSA announced that several of its members conducted inspections in Turin at the headquarters of the Lavazza coffee company and in Milan at the office of Gelme, the largest distributor in Italy of alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. The BSA members concerned filed suit against Gelme for copyright infringement.

The BSA and Lavazza reached an agreement in which Lavazza announced today that it agreed to reaffirm its corporate policy against illegal copying by implementing the terms of the Software Code of Ethics. In particular, Lavazza agreed to make additional information available to its employees to ensure that all employees adhere to the terms of the Software Code of Ethics.

``Lavazza recognizes that it is illegal to copy software,'' stated Giovanni Granella, head of the legal and personnel department at Lavazza. ``In a large company it is not always easy to control the actions of every employee. But, we have made substantial efforts in the past to discourage illegal copying, and we believe that with these additional measures we will ensure that all of our employees respect the law.''

``BSA welcomes Lavazza's prompt and responsible attention to the problem of software piracy,'' said Bradford L. Smith, European Counsel for BSA. ``Lavazza is committed to adhering to the law and has made important efforts to implement a corporate policy against copying. Its quick action today will ensure that all employees will follow its policy, and we hope that other companies in Italy will follow its example.''

The BSA's actions this week follow its announcement two weeks ago, broadcast live to Taiwan from Washington, D.C., of surprise raids on two companies in Taiwan. BSA members filed legal actions against one of the companies and reached a settlement with the other as a result of its agreement to take prompt action to verify its software licenses and regularize its software use.

The BSA announced that these recent legal actions are part of its 1991 sweep which the BSA began with visits earlier this year to Taipei, Seoul, Hong 3ong, and Singapore and legal announcements in France and the United Kingdom.

``We intend to make as clear as possible that BSA is determined to fight software piracy wherever the problem occurs, throughout the world,'' said Robert Holleyman. ``We urge companies to take this opportunity to review their software inventory and legitimize their holdings -- only original software acquired through legitimate channels can prevent the threat of legal action for software copyright infringement.''

The Business Software Alliance is comprised of the leading business software producers Aldus, Ashton-Tate, Autodesk, Digital Research, Lotus Development, Microsoft, Novell, and WordPerfect. The BSA is an international affiliate of the Software Publishers Association, which is the principal trade association for the PC software industry with 750 members in the education, consumer, and business software sectors.

CONTACT: Business Software Alliance, Washington ? Lori Forte, 202/737-7060

Copyright (c) 1991, Business Wire