Baku, Azerbaijan, April 22
In January, the first-ever Police raid was announced following the corresponding investigation and test purchase in a Baku PCreseller. The raid was conducted to gather evidence for a potential criminal case for copyright infringement for the distribution of pirated software.
In early April, such Department carried out the second surprise raid at a PC reseller in Baku. Several copies of software programs, including Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, suspected to be unlicensed were found during the raid, which led to the seizure of PCs and related materials to be used as evidence in the criminal investigation.
According to the provisions of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights of Azerbaijan, the distribution, use and in any other way the making available of pirated software constitutes copyright infringement which can lead to criminal, administrative and/or civil liabilities, including prison term.
By buying a PC with pirated software users risks their personal data, security and the reliability of their system. The recent study from IDC and University of Singapore commissioned by Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit showed that out of 203 new PCs with pirated software that were randomly purchased in 11 countries, 61% of them was infected by dangerous viruses and malware.
"Microsoft will continue its antipiracy awareness efforts in Azerbaijan letting customers know that only valid certificate of authenticity or Genuine Microsoft Label guarantee that your new PC is running genuine Microsoft software", said Evgeny Danilov, Microsoft CEE New Markets License Compliance Lead. "We shall be keep working closely with our customers and partners to reduce software piracy, however we shall continue to use the
available legal mechanisms to stop software piracy in the channel and within end-users".
Also, a study performed by BSA and INSEAD, one of the leading business schools in the world, showed that the growth of the properly licensed software market in Azerbaijan would have a greater impact in the economy than with a similar increase in the volume of the pirated software market. The growth of the licensed software market by 1% would raise the GDP by USD$38 million, compared to USD$19 million with a similar increase in the volume of pirated software. Thus, the growth of the market of licensed software by 1% would have provided an additional economic benefit of USD$19 million. Moreover, every additional dollar invested in licensed software in the country has a return on investment (ROI) in GDP in the amount of USD$380. As comparison, the return on investment for pirated products is USD$28 for each additional dollar invested.
Nariman Ramazanov, Outside Legal Counsel to BSA | The Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a Member, said: "These new software inspections done by the Chief Department on Combating Organised Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan demonstrate the willingness of State authorities to protect consumers, local businesses and Intellectual Property Rights in Azerbaijan against the serious risks of pirated software. Furthermore, we expect that these type of actions will help develop the software industry in the country and hence, have a positive effect in the local economy. We do expect more of these software inspections to follow in the next months".