Monday, January 14, 2008

Montenegro Tops Software Piracy

BIRN: 14 January 2008, Podgorica -- More than four-fifths of software used in Montenegro is believed to be pirated, according to the Montenegrin office of software giant Microsoft.
The Montenegrin government is losing $5-6 million (€3.38-4.06) each year in unpaid taxes, due to the use of illegal software, the head of Microsoft Montenegro, Oliver Obradovic, told the Montenegrin agency, Mina-business.

"Experience in the neighbouring countries has taught us that action by the tax and police administrations has produced the best results as regards suppression of software piracy," Obradovic said.

Obradovic has called for the drafting of amendments to the law that refers to the tax administration, which currently does not include breach of copyright.

Microsoft estimates that pirated software accounts for 83% of all software in use in Montenegro.
Illegal use applies to the private sector and individuals because the government has signed a contract on a strategic partnership with Microsoft, and has introduced licensed software in most public bodies, including the municipal authorities.

According IDC, a company dealing with information technology statistics, the extent of software piracy in Montenegro is the highest in the region.

The extent of piracy in Croatia is 55%, Macedonia and Bulgaria 69%, Bulgaria, 65%, Serbia 78% and Slovenia 48%.

Obradovic says that the government has adopted a set of legal documents in the field of intellectual property rights, which is the first important step in struggle against software piracy.
"However, we consider the struggle against software crime to be a process,” Obradovic said, noting that further measures needed to be taken.

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