IN SLOVAKIA, most illegal software can be found in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
Slávka Šikurová, spokesperson for the software industry’s anti-piracy organisation, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), announced in early November that 7,000 SMEs in Slovakia had received warnings about use of pirated software, the SITA newswire wrote.
“It stems from an analysis of our organisation that most illegal software is in companies owning 5 to 100 computers, and operating in the production, services and creative segments,” said Šikurová.
The latest BSA analysis suggested that 43 percent of software used by Slovaks is illegal. The consequent losses to the local software industry amounted to roughly €46 million, the BSA estimated.
“The number of illegal software notifications has been increasing every year,” Šikurová said. “This year we have registered a 50-percent increase in notifications compared with the previous year.”
Police checks in companies suspected of using illegal software are most often ‘inspired’ by tip-offs from inside the company or its vicinity. Mostly they come from disgruntled employees or competitors.
According to Šikurová, managers should realise that they may be held responsible for illegal software even in cases where they have not participated directly in its dissemination or installation.
A court may impose a fine, order confiscation of property or even send those responsible to prison for up to eight years for usage of illegal software.
Last year, average compensation for harmed software producers in Slovakia climbed to almost €5,000.