Georg Herrnleben, Director, Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East and Africa, Business Software Alliance, said: "With an average of over 100 leads being reported per week, businesses need to be very aware of the risks of using unlicensed software. The strong rise across the region could be the result of a number of factors, including more companies putting themselves at risk by cutting corners during this economic downturn, or perhaps recently-redundant employees reporting their ex-employers, especially because an attractive financial reward could be on offer in a number of countries. Companies are missing the point. With the current economic instability, companies should ensure their operations and assets are robust to survive the uncertain climate."
In 2008, over 2400 legal actions were taken against users of illegal business software in Europe alone. In Hungary, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) welcomes the fact that during the last few months police in Hungary has shown extended efforts in fighting software piracy. During 2008 over 100 software related cases were forwarded by the police for further proceedings and though the final outcome of these cases depend on the legal processes, the sign itself is significant.
Gabor Sarlos, spokesperson for BSA in Hungary said: "When considering the risks of using illegal software, it is not only the financial consequences that businesses must consider. Using unlicensed software opens businesses up to the risk of operational issues, such as viruses causing downtime, security threats, including data loss, and reputational damage. We urge companies to understand the risks of using pirated software, as well as the advantages of licensed versions. Legal software provides support, services and upgrades, which ensures your business runs securely and efficiently."
Across Europe, Middle East and Africa, because of BSA actions, the cost to businesses (damages and acquiring legal software) reached more than $23 million in 2008; of which, just over $8 million was paid to the BSA in settlements and more than $15 million spent by companies on the purchase of business-critical software for compliance purposes. More than 3,000 legal actions were conducted by BSA in 2008 across the EMEA region, as a result of 5,546 leads, which averages at over 460 businesses reported to BSA a month.
As a clear sign of growing interest in joint efforts against use of illegal software, three forward-looking software companies have recently joined the BSA, Embarcadero Technologies will participate in BSA’s activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in its capacity as a Worldwide Member. Two other members have also joined as Worldwide Members, Minitab and Rosetta Stone. BSA now has 27 Worldwide and Policy Council Members, plus another 56 members who participate at the regional-level or in specific BSA programmes. BSA also has active working relationships with more than 150 industry associations worldwide, making it uniquely influential and connected.
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organisation dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programmes foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include: Adobe, Altium, Apple, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, CNC, Corel, CyberLink, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, Embarcadero, Famatech, Graphisoft, Microsoft, Mindjet, Quark, Siemens, Symantec, Tekla and The MathWorks.