SINGAPORE--Microsoft announced Monday that law enforcement authorities had seized more than 45,000 copies of counterfeit software in the Asia-Pacific region last month. Items seized during raids on software dealers in Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India included pirated versions of the software giant's newly launched Windows XP operating system, its Office XP package and its Windows NT Server.
"As the number of complaints and (the amount of) counterfeit products seized indicates, software piracy and the violation of intellectual property rights continue to be significant problems facing the software industry across the region," Microsoft said in a statement. Citing research by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the company noted that Asia-Pacific was the only region that experienced an increase in piracy rates last year; the piracy rate in Asia was 51 percent in 2000, compared with a worldwide average of 37 percent. "This translates to losses of $4.1 billion to the (region's) software industry...and even greater losses to the economies themselves," Microsoft said.
Staff writer Michelle Tan reported from Singapore.