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An Analysis of the Impact of Economic Wealth and National Culture on the Rise and Fall of Software Piracy Rates

  • Law
  • Political Science


INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ALLIANCE 2005 SPECIAL 301 SPECIAL MENTION GREECE Business software: The widespread use of unlicensed software and distribution of low quality counterfeit CDs across the country show that there is still a lot to do to implement Greek intellectual property legislation in practice. Due to a lack of consistent enforcement activities, the level of piracy experienced by the business software industry remains at an unacceptably high level in both the private and public sectors, and even within the Public Administration. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) estimates that the 2003 business software piracy rate in Greece was 63%. This is well above the EU average of 37% and the highest of all countries in the enlarged EU region, including the traditionally more challenging countries in Eastern Europe. Between 1999 and 2002 the increased efforts of the Greek National Police and SDOE (Greek Tax Police) in the field of software copyright protection resulted in an 8% decline in the Greek piracy rate. However, as both SDOE and the National Police have practically ceased their activities in the field of software copyright protection in the last two years, this positive downward trend has come to a halt. Meaningful progress can be expected only if the National Police and SDOE re-activate their enforcement activity and establish special departments/units within SDOE and the National Police to systematically fight intellectual property crimes. In addition, the Greek government should lead by example stressing the importance of protecting intellectual property rights and legal software use within the Public Administration. By taking these positive steps and implementing policies that support legal software use, the government could raise significant awareness of the problem and help bring down the unacceptably high software piracy rate. Music piracy: Music piracy in Greece i

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