Singapore changes Copyright Amendment Bill 2004
What Happens When You Are Caught With Illegal Software?
In the case of business software, companies must ensure that
they are using only licensed and legal programmes within their
business environment. Once the new laws are in place, software
non-compliance in a business environment can attract criminal
a. Sentence: Ist offence: fine max. SGD20,000 and /or
imprisonment max. 6 months
b. 2nd offence: fine max. SGD$50,000 and/or imprisonment max.3
What Is Software Piracy?
Software piracy is the reproduction, distribution or use of a
software product without the expressed permission of its author.
Software piracy is theft- stealing someone else's original idea
and product. Many people also think that piracy only involves
using illegal or counterfeit software. This form of piracy is
called software counterfeiting - which is the illegal
duplication and sale of software in a form that is identical to
the genuine product.
However, beside software counterfeiting, software piracy also
comes on other forms. These include: a. Hard disk loading: Where
computer dealers pre-install illegal copies of software onto PCs
prior to sale. Some dealers use one legally acquired copy but
install it on many machines. These PCs are usually sold without
any form of licensing documentation or disks.
b. Client-server overuse: When too many employees on a network
use a central copy of a program at the same time.
c. Internet piracy: This is the fastest growing form of software
piracy. Counterfeit software on CDs are sold through the
Internet, or software programs are placed by third parties on
the Internet for downloads free of charge or for a fee. Pirates
tend also to use the internet as a means of advertising to
d. End user piracy: End users (both home and corporate users)
who are utilising unlicensed software on their systems, or who
have installed more copies than they are entitled to under their
license agreements, for example: a company with only one license
installing the software on five PCs. Many companies are not
aware that under-licensing is also a form of software piracy.
For example, they cannot buy one copy of software and install it
on many PCs. Companies must ensure that they comply with their
software licensing agreements.
a. Single licenses : Single licenses are most commonly called
end-user license agreement (EULAs). These licenses are supplies
with fully package products, as in the case of off-the-self
products typically purchased through retail computer stores.
They are included with PCs that come pre-loaded with software or
are supplies through online distribution arrangement. Many of
these licenses support "click-to accept" licensing formats which
require no signature to a written agreement.
b. Volume licenses: A volume license is distinctly different
from the EULA,since it allows organisation with larger systems
to obtain multiple licenses. As is the case with many multi-user
agreements, these license are usually obtained through
negotiation and written agreement with software publisher.
Sometimes volume licensing agreement may also entitle the user
to product upgrades during the term of that license agreement.
c. Per seat/per server licenses: In today's typically networked
office environment, per seat/per server licenses are usually
required for use with certain types of server software. Not all
server products require users to have individual or separate
licenses. (check with your software publisher) Some server
products and their associated licensing programmes do require
the user to have a separate license for accessing that servers,
broadly referred to as an "access license"
d. Per server: Per server license are a type of concurrent
license. That is to say they are license that allow a maximum
number of permitted users to access the server at any one time.
e. Per seat: Per seat licenses will generally require one access
license for each device (pc) accessing the servers.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not remove any sticker on the
operating system on your PC because it the proof of your
What Is Software Compliance?
Software non compliance in the business environment. Whether
through under licensing or the use of unauthorised or infringing
software, is often the result of a lack of a proper software
asset management (SAM) process in an organisation.
In order to prevent under licensing or the use of infringing
software, companies should put in place a robust SAM process.
SAM is simply a process that businesses take to better manage
their software assets so that they know exactly what software
programs they have and need. SAM can help companies get the
maximum value out of their investment in software.
Importantly, SAM is also a great way for businesses to identify
and eliminate unauthorised software, and address under licensing
Managing software well is a four steps process:
a, Develop Policies and procedure
b. Audit your software
c. Determine what's is legal or illegal
d. Establish a routine audit
Are Your Windows OS Legal?
There are many ways to check if you have a Legally Licensed
Microsoft Windows installed in your desktop, notebook PC as well
as your servers. For Win 95SE, 98, ME, and 2000 users you should
be looking for the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker on
your system or the Operation Manual if you have purchase your
software from your system supplier. Alternatively, you should
have in your possession the original CDROM that has an
Edge-to-Edge holographic image if you have purchase the software
For XP and Server 2003 users, life just got simpler. All you
need to do is to visit the Microsoft's How To Tell website and
you will get all the online utilities there to check for your
software authenticity. Are Your Other Software Legal? Besides
the OS, there are probably many other common software
applications running on your computer. Most of these software
requires you to purchase a software license or agree to their
End-User License Agreement. If someone else has installed it for
you it would be wise to check if you have accidentally breach
the license agreement. Read these website for some example of a
license requirement: A) Microsoft Office B) Adobe C) Mcafee