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The Net is closing in around companies using illegal software
04-10-2006 IT/BSA source: PeppeR
50% increase in discovered IP crimes during the first 5 months of the year BSA launches media campaign to raise risk awareness on illegal software use
  In order to reduce software piracy in Hungary, BSA will launch several initiatives at the same time. Starting the first half of October a large-scale media campaign is planned to raise awareness of the increasing risk of illegal corporate software use - either intentional or unintentional - by the employees. According to the prevailing law the CEO of the company is responsible for the company's lawful operation, including legal software use. Last year Hungarian police initiated investigations in over 37.000 cases in relation to violation of intellectual property rights. In the first 5 months of 2006 alone, according to the recent statistics of the Hungarian Police Force (ORFK), the number of discovered IP crimes reached 15,572, a dramatic 50% increase over the same period last year. Since the police, the tax authority and customs officials pay a growing attention to illegal software use, the chance that such criminal activity stays unnoticed and unpunished is less and less. BSA expects that the media campaign helps draw more persons' attention that it's not worth risking the use of illegal software. A new option makes BSA online services portfolio richer. Starting in mid-October a new BSA advisory service will be available online, where every company may be able to health-check their software use policies, and - based on the diagnose - receive customised advice. A company manager is thus, at relative ease, able to assess the risks of its own company related to the potential use of illegal software. As a further step BSA's Soft Visit campaign continues on a nationwide level. During the program BSA visited several hundred small and medium sized Hungarian companies so far and during which the organisation collected valuable information on the software use patterns of small and midsize companies. During the visits the organisation's experts asked questions about the software management practices of the selected companies, provided valuable information on the risks of illegal software use to the managers and in case of software management deficiencies provided expert advice on improvement possibilities. Several hundred visits, managerial interviews, and analysing nearly 3,000 software inventories led to some interesting findings. Experience of the visits clearly show the large majority of the management of SMEs are not aware of the current Hungarian laws regulating legal software use, did not implement internal company processes avoiding illegal practices of employees, and - although 40% of them keep records of their licensed software - only 0,5% of the reviewed 2,800 software inventories met international standards. The better managed and more successful a company is, the better they handle software management issues as well. These are the same companies that support the most BSA's efforts to make decisive steps against companies with illegal software use. The next wave of the BSA visits focuses on the software practices of companies who did not answer yet to previous BSA contacts, thus making the survey complete to the originally targeted group. The visits are now extended to the total area of the country. In Hungary the 42% piracy rate causes 106 million dollar loss for the software industry every year*, while as a 10% reduction could yield 720m dollars additional economic growth. This piracy reduction may result 480 million dollars additional revenue for the local economy, a further 145 million dollar tax revenue for the state, and may create 2,500 additional jobs**. * Third annual BSA and IDC global Piracy Study, May 2006-10-03 ** IDC Economic Impact Study, Dec. 2005.
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