Illegal Use of Intellectual Property in EU

For many years Poland has been among European countries with the largest share of illegal software on the market.
And it is no surprise when public opinion on this subject is taken into consideration.

As results of recent polls show, Polish people generally accept use of illegal computer applications, including movies and music.

The Centre of Public Opinion Research (CBOS) asked a representative group of Poles about their views on intellectual property.

Sixty-five percent of them said that use of illegal software, games, music and films was justified by high prices set by producers and distributors.

The prices are, in fact, higher than in many countries of the EU, even though the average wage in Poland is four to five times lower than in Germany or the United Kingdom.

Twenty-eight percent of those polled said that unauthorized copying and selling of copyrighted works was a crime.

Young people who were surveyed tolerated piracy much more often than the rest of society. CBOS also asked people if they knew how to tell an original, copyrighted product from an illegal copy. Sixty-two percent said they had no problem, while 34 percent admitted that they couldn’t do it. Only half of the group taking part in the poll said that they checked legality while buying software, films and music.

Another part of the poll concerned the downloading of files from the Internet. Forty-two percent said they used the Internet.
The most popular downloaded files were music (42 percent), movies (31) and other applications (32).

Nineteen percent of the Internet users acknowledged downloading computer games, while 13 percent looked for electronic books.
In all of these categories, 40 percent to 48 percent of the group admitted that their copies were illegal. According to the Business Software Alliance, an organization of software producers, Central and Eastern Europe have the highest level of software piracy in the world, with 68 percent using illegal applications.

The global average is 32 percent. In Poland, an estimated 57 percent of computers have illegal software installed, the BSA says.

Among EU countries only Greece (61 percent), Romania and Bulgaria (69 each) have a higher illegal software share.
In the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, the figures are much lower, respectively 39, 45 and 42 percent. As an annual BSA report on computer piracy shows, software producers lost $484 mln in 2006 in the Polish market due to unauthorized copying.
This made Poland the 15th worst copyright offender in the world. According to the report, 60 percent of illegal transfers on the Internet are generated by peer-to-peer file exchange networks.
The problem will probably get even worse in the coming decades as more people from countries with a high level of piracy – such as China, India and Brazil ? connect to the Internet. As an annual BSA report on computer piracy shows, software producers have lost $484 mln in 2006 on the Polish market due to unauthorized copying. This makes Poland 15th of the world countries with the highest copyright-breaking programs market share.

According to the report 60 percent of transfer quota in the Internet is generated by peer-to-peer (p2p) file exchange networks. This will probably go even worse in the next decades as more people from countries with a high level of piracy, such as China, India and Brazil, connect to the Internet.

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