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Cablegate: Microsoft Finds Light at the End of The

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R 270813Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4769
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 2095

UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000018

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STATE PASS FOR EAP/MTS/COPPOLAMG, EEB/TPP/IPE/URBANJ
STATE PASS USTR/EHLERSK
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD KIPR ECON EINV USTR BX
SUBJECT: Microsoft Finds Light At The End Of The
IPL Tunnel

1.(SBU) The U.S. Mission to Brunei and Ambassador Todd's relentless
pursuit of advancing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) over the
past year by the U.S. Mission to Brunei along with USTR's able
assistance showed a real dividend this week when Microsoft won a
landmark, first ever case against a Brunei IT firm January 26, 2010.
EcoPrime Networks, an IT training institution, became the first
Brunei firm to be convicted under Brunei's Intellectual Property
law. The firm has to cough up a fine of B$10,000 on top of losing
most of their IT equipment, which was confiscated in the raid by the
Police in September 2008. End Summary

2. (SBU) After more than a year of litigation processing, Microsoft
can claim a tangible victory and send a serious shot across the bow
to other would-be vendors and end users of illegal pirated software
in Brunei. EcoPrime Networks, an IT training institution, received
a painful lesson that times are changing in Brunei. The modest fine
of $10,000 Brunei is seriously augmented by the loss of 90 computers
and servers along with 200 copies of illegal software. These
combined losses in addition to their credibility as a legitimate
training facility will serve as a visible deterrent for other such
potential violators. Senior Director for Anti-Piracy (Asia Pacific)
Tarun Sawney of the Business Software Alliance was quoted as saying,
"This is a reminder that even companies that use pirated software
are breaking the law and subject to prosecution. Businesses must
stay legally compliant and this includes ensuring they continue to
use only legal and genuine software."

3. (SBU) This successful conviction and sentencing of EcoPrime
combined along with the ongoing successes of Recording Industry
Malaysia's (RIM) actions against pirated music, are both strong
messages to the local community that rights holders and law
enforcement will not hesitate to take action on IPR infringement.
These recent improvements are directly related to the multiple
efforts taken by US Embassy Brunei to educate both law enforcement
and legal entities, not to mention the general public as to the
dangers of violating such rights. The Microsoft case should be an
encouragement to American rights holders (like the Motion Picture
Association (MPA)) to engage with local authorities to create a
piracy-free environment for their products. Note: USTR
representative Karl Ehlers and members of the MPA will visit Brunei
February 9-10 to open such a dialogue directly with Brunei officials
at the Attorney General's Chambers. End Note. Ambassador Todd and
U.S. Embassy Brunei will continue to lead the charge on this key
issue for Brunei especially as preparations commence for this year's
Special 301 Watch List report.


TODD

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