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Massachusetts fines Thai seafood company over pirated software

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office fined a Thai seafood processor with operations in Massachusetts $10,000 over the use of pirated Microsoft software.

The case marks the first time the state used laws that are intended to combat unfair business practices against a company for illegally obtaining software.

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In addition to paying a civil penalty, Narong Seafood Co., which has an operation in Gloucester, agreed not to use unlicensed software when doing business in Massachusetts.

On the front page of its website on Thursday, the company said that it “completed an internal audit of our IT systems to ensure that our systems are secured, that we adhere to the intellectual property laws of Thailand and abroad.”

Microsoft Corp. alerted Coakley’s office that it suspected Narong of using its software illegally. The use of pirated software “puts law-abiding businesses at a disadvantage when competing with companies that take the shortcut of stealing intellectual property,” said Mark Lamb, a Microsoft spokesman, in a statement.

Massachusetts Competes, a statewide business coalition based in Canton, praised the action, saying it will discourage others from using pirated software. “It will send a global message that intellectual property theft, as well as information technology theft, is something that won’t be tolerated,” said Stella Karavas, executive director of Massachusetts Competes.

Michael B. Farrell can be reached at
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