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Latvian computer stores selling pirated software

  • 2008-03-28
  • In cooperation with BNS

RIGA- A on going campaign shows that half ofLatvian computer stores sell illegal software. Conducted by Secret Buyer incooperation with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the campaign covered 30cities in Latvia and 160 computer shops.

 "We found that almost one half of Latvia'sstores are ready to sell illegal computer software, thus placing the buyer inthe role of the offender. When the customers said that they were buying acomputer for home use, the shop assistants themselves offered to installillegal software on the computer. It should be added that the sellers oftenrequired as high sum of money for such service, as a licensed software pack forhome users would cost," said Latvian committee executive director SanitaMeijere.

The highest number of illegal sales was found in the Latvian cities ofBauska, Jurmala, Olaine and Tukums. In Riga,it was possible to purchase illegal software in 46 percent of the stores. Thelowest piracy level was in stores located in the cities of Aluksne, Jelgava,Sigulda and Valmiera.

Computer stores large and small are selling illegal software. From branchesof large retail networks to separate small traders, BSA said.

BSA found that many sellers lack information on the range of the software andits use. For example, a company was offered a home user software pack, while ahome user was sold illegal antivirus software instead of being offered suitableand legal antivirus software for home use

During the campaign, Secret Buyer's specially trained employees visitedcomputer software shops and expressed their interest in purchasing thesoftware. The campaign lasted from October until December 2007. From Januaryuntil March this year, Latvian Economic Police performed test purchases in theshops where illegal software was offered to the secret buyers.