More than 60 computers with pirated software were seized at the Russian representative office of LG. A criminal case of copyright infringement. The damage is estimated at 2 million rubles. Experts note that a foreign company in Russia for the first time found itself in the center of a scandal with counterfeit software. LG representatives say they use only licensed programs.
A criminal case has been opened into the illegal use of software by employees of a large foreign company that manufactures electronic and household appliances in Russia, the Economic Security Department (DEB) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia said on Wednesday. “As a rule, foreign companies scrupulously execute legislation, do not allow the use of counterfeit software. The uniqueness of the case is that it is a question of a foreign company. In relation to Russian companies, such cases were brought up earlier, ”the department’s press service told Gazeta.ru. Officially, DEB doesn’t name the company that got on the pirated software, since the investigation is not completed. This is the Russian representative office of the South Korean company LG Electronics. Dozens of computers were removed from the company's offices. ')
About 60 employees of LG used unlicensed software, police say. “During the events held in the office premises of the company, 44 system computer units and 17 laptops with installed pirated programs were seized,” the BPA clarified. A criminal case on the use of counterfeit was instituted under Part 3 of Art. 146 of the Criminal Code (violation of copyright and related rights), while no one has been charged.
“The investigation continues: it is necessary to find out whether the management of the company intended to minimize expenses by installing unlicensed programs. It could have been different: at the management level, they could allocate money for legal software, while some of their subordinates, accounting or techies, would put piracy and appropriate the money, ”argue the investigation participants. It is expected that after the completion of operational search activities, the case will be referred to the Investigation Committee under the Ministry of Interior
According to preliminary estimates, the damage from the use of illegal software amounted to 2 million rubles.
In particular, instead of legal software, pirated copies of Adobe products were installed on the computers of the company's employees, including expensive Photoshop and Acrobat programs, as well as a graphic editor made by Canadian company Corel. Both companies are members of the Software Manufacturers Association (Business Software Alliance or BSA). The BSA Russian Committee was the initiator of the inspection, Anna Petrova, legal representative of the association in Russia, told Gazeta.ru. According to her, BSA sent a letter to LG Electronics in October last year asking for a license to use Adobe and Corel products or to remove pirated versions of software. “But the letter remained unanswered,” says Petrova. Then the BSA lawyers wrote an application to the DEA.
Accordingly, after LG, large-scale inspections can begin in other large companies, the expert believes.
“Then we catch and launch discs under the bulldozer, then we are looking for unlicensed programs in companies. First, there is a period of aggravation, and then a lull, ”says the patent attorney. However, according to Ermakova, even such measures have an effect on bringing order and increasing the level of literacy in the field of copyright: “People under the threat of punishment are trying to minimize the risks.” As for punishment, for violation of Article 146 of the Criminal Code, it can be threatened with either a fine of up to 500 thousand rubles, or up to 5 years in prison.