Computer hacking rate in Portugal reaches 53% in 2006

Sapo opens laboratory at the University of Aveiro

The Portuguese Software Association today presented data referring to a study carried out by the Business Software Alliance in partnership with IDC, regarding the rate of computer piracy.

The data show that in Portugal the counterfeiting of computer products, software and hardware, reached 53 percent last year. The losses associated with this percentage correspond to 112 million euros. The analysis states that, with regard to «piracy originating from shipments of hardware traditional brand and software regulars «, the rate of illegal products reached 43 percent.

ASSOFT adds to this percentage value an additional 10 percent from «illegal situations caused by other market agents», such as auctions, white lines, illegal pages online, among others.

In addition to the losses generated by the counterfeiting of computer products, there are also 23.5 million euros related to direct taxes not collected by the Portuguese state. The observed values ​​led Manuel Cerqueira, president of ASSOFT, to admit that the «numbers are worrying» and cause «indecision with suppliers» that may reduce their investment in Portugal.

Between 1994 and 2005 473 million euros were lost due to hacking. In the same period, the State suffered a loss of 91 million euros as a result of VAT that remained to be collected.

ASSOFT reports that 53 percent of registered illegal use cases occur with small and medium-sized companies. In these cases, whenever anomalies are detected at the business level, the association gives a period of 48 hours to those responsible for them to present the material registration licenses, otherwise the process ends up going to the Public Ministry.

Despite efforts against piracy, many factors continue to lead public and private entities to opt for the illegal acquisition of equipment and software computer. The increase in the number of consumers and SMEs entering the market, the degree of honorability of local assemblers – installing free applications on systems to later migrate to pirated software versions – and the increase in broadband accesses, are some of the factors enhancers of increased piracy.

To counter this trend, ASSOFT calls for government support, training campaigns and legislative support so that authorities and courts can do their job in order to eradicate piracy. The transposition of some international laws to our country may be one of the strategies to reduce this crime in the national market.

This study looked at 102 countries and covered all packages of software that work on personal computers, including operating systems, databases, security products, games, among other applications. However, products such as software for servers or mainframes, nor the software sold as a service.

Globally, it was concluded that, worldwide, 35 percent of software were pirated in 2006. The losses resulting from this reality amounted to 5.2 billion dollars, placing the value of piracy at 39.576 billion dollars worldwide by the editors and authors of the most diverse products of software.

Manuel Cerqueira said that ASSOFT has already sealed a partnership with the DGCI, with the first training being already given to three thousand inspection agents, who will also begin to analyze software.

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