By Irene Tham
An Indonesian court has awarded Microsoft $4.76 million in damages against four Jakarta-based computer dealers. The Central Jakarta District Court found PT Panca Putra Komputindo, HM Computer, HJ Computer and Altec Computer guilty of loading unauthorized copies of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office onto PCs for sale, according to a Microsoft statement. The dealers were investigated by Microsoft as part of the company's Dealer Test Purchase Program, which tracks resellers who illegally copy software and operating systems onto PCs to attract customers.
According to the Business Software Alliance, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for the highest revenue losses due to software piracy among corporate consumers last year, totaling $4 billion, or 35 percent of the global figure. A pirated copy of Microsoft's Office XP, for example, sells for as low as $1.50 in Malaysia, compared with the original price tag of $199.
Staff writer Irene Tham reported from Singapore.