ASSOFT estimates that 55% of the software used in national SMEs is illegal

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The advertising campaign to raise awareness of computer piracy, under way by the Portuguese Software Association (ASSOFT), generated a record in requests for assistance and clarification of doubts about the topic with the association. There were more than 1,300 companies that resorted to ASSOFT to clarify, mostly, about the licensing of software and its legality.

According to ASSOFT, the «legal and practical consequences for companies and their managers of the use of software pirate «, was another issue addressed by organizations, as well as» ways to avoid purchasing unlicensed material «in the future.

The demand registered by the association is seen by Manuel Cerqueira, president of ASSOFT, as a positive reflection of the campaign that «has managed to achieve the objectives of prevention and pedagogy» outlined by ASSOFT.

Even so, the official says that piracy is far from over, making it necessary for companies and creators of software have confidence to «invest in this area in Portugal, because here intellectual property rights are properly respected».

Software illegal in SMEs

Contacted by TeK, Manuel Cerqueira says that currently more than half (55 percent) of the software used by small and medium-sized national companies is illegal, a value estimated from the assessments made in the meantime.

At the end of September this year, the Food and Economic Security Authority (ASAE) promoted an inspection action, called «CHIP II», to 22 companies and public entities, which resulted in the opening of four criminal cases for piracy of software and the seizure of four servers, 101 computers and 388 illicit programs.

The screening of companies and their supervision is under the responsibility of ASAE, the Judicial Police and IGAC and aims to combat the piracy of computer programs used and raise public awareness of the use of legal products.

Inspection operations do not include the software open-source in searches, with companies free to use this type of open source products. However, ASSOFT «recommends reading the usage licenses» of these products, so that users prevent possible discomfort due to lack of attention to the imposed clauses.

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2006-03-08 – Anti-piracy actions increase 50% in Portugal