January 25, 2008 (LBO) – Software companies are planning to launch a series of law suits against unlawful copying of their work in Sri Lanka this year, a legal expert told a conference on information technology and the law. Jayantha Fernando, director and legal advisor at the Information Communications Technology Agency (ICTA), said many individuals and firms were unaware that private legal remedies are available to combat piracy.

Recent legislation has made software piracy illegal and recognised intellectual property rights despite which a “substantial amount of piracy” was taking place in the island, he told the LAWASIA ICT 2008 conference.

LAWASIA is a professional association of representatives of bar councils, law associations, individual lawyers and law firms from the Asia-Pacific region.

Fernando said a series of representations had been made by the software export industry to the Information Communications Technology Agency and its funding agency, the World Bank.

Many were of the view that the government and police should take action against software piracy.

“However, what is important to realise is that private remedies are available to individuals or organisations for IPR or copyright inf