ALMOST one half of PC software in Slovakia is illegal.
That is the conclusion of a global study conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and IDS, which calculated the ratio of legal and illegal software in individual countries. After three years of improvement, Slovakia’s level of software piracy for 2007 remained steady at 45 percent, the Hospodárske Noviny financial daily wrote.
BSA spokesman for Slovakia Roman Karabelli told the SITA newswire that the global trend last year was a drop in the rate of software piracy. But in Slovakia, as in the other Visegrad Four countries, the rate remained constant while the damages caused by software piracy to this market segment increased to $54 million.
Slovakia ranks among the countries with the lowest rate of software piracy in Central Europe and Eastern Europe, along with the Czech Republic (39 percent) and Hungary (42 percent). Armenia, 93 percent, and Moldova, 92 percent, top the chart in the region.
BSA agents discovered that illegal software is especially problematic in southern and eastern Slovakia. This could be because the watchdog’s previous efforts focused mainly on towns in the western and northern parts of the country, Karabelli said.
According to Adriana Tomanová of BSA, it is now impossible to purchase illegal software in Trenčín, Žilina and Poprad. BSA also attributes this to the population’s increased purchasing power and police activities.
The Windows operating system is the most common illegal software in Slovakia. Microsoft Office came in next, followed by PC games.
19. May 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports