A STUDY conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) for 2013, showed that 47 per cent of the software installed on personal computers in Cyprus was not licensed.
This figure was down 1.0 per cent from 2011, but the estimated loss to the software industry stands at €14 million for the year.
BSA , based in Washington and made up of member companies aiming to reduce piracy and create software solutions, has decided to launch a campaign against pirated software in Cyprus. The aim is to inform the public about the benefits of legal software use.
According to Nicholas Ktenas from the law firm Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC, which represents BSA in Cyprus, the percentage of illegal software in Cyprus is high and he warned about the dangers associated with illegal software use.
“The use of properly licensed software not only ensures that software developers remain in business, but also that computer systems remain optimal, up to date and free from security threats,” he said. “By now, in a business world which is more dependent than ever on technology, it should be one of the main concerns of every organisation to ensure the use of properly licensed software by all its members”.
Ktenas said the purpose was not to punish the use of pirate software, “as we are all aware of the financial difficulties of the time”, but to inform the public about benefits of legal software use.
He said the use of pirated software could come with an economic cost to users. He said personal data such as card numbers, which users often use on their computers, are not safe with software downloaded from the Internet. The only way to insure the safety of personal data is with the use of authorised software, he added.
Another possible danger is that unauthorised software is often unable to update and thus not provide the user with the appropriate protection, raising the chances for data theft.
Ktenas said that the campaign would use the media to inform the public but would also educate through seminars. A seminar will also be organised in association with the customs authorities aiming to train them on what to look for.
The region with the highest percentage of illegal software in 2013 was Asia-Pacific with 63 per cent, followed by Central-East Europe with 61 per cent and Latin America with 59 per cent. Within the EU the average was 31 per cent.
The worldwide average for 2013 was 43 per cent, slightly higher than 42 per cent in 2011.