A Thai seafood company has agreed to pay $10,000 to resolve allegations by the US state of Massachusetts that it used illegal software.
According to Legal News Line, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced the settlement with Thailand-based Narong Seafood Company Ltd last Thursday.
Ms Coakley said the Thai fish processor unfairly delivered and sold products in the state using pirated software to avoid paying the appropriate licensing fees.
"Businesses using unlicensed software should not gain an unfair cost advantage over rivals who play by the rules," she said in a statement.
A total of 38 US states have passed or are preparing to pass Unfair Competition Acts (UCAs) with beefed-up provisions specifically to combat information technology piracy.
The laws seek to punish foreign companies that enjoy an unfair cost advantage over American businesses because they use unlicensed software.
Massachussetts, Louisiana and Washington already have UCAs specifically directed at piracy. Some European countries are considering similar laws.
Thai legal experts have been urging Thai companies that export to the US to ensure their software is legal. Even if the software the companies use has nothing specifically to do with the products or services they sell, they could still be investigated and charged.
Under the terms of the agreement with the state of Massachusstts, Narong Seafood agreed to pay $10,000 in civil penalties.
The Thai company also agreed to no longer use unlicensed software programs in connection with the manufacturing or production of goods entering Massachusetts.
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