Final Word from Monday, August 11, 2003

When the police raided Prabos Plus shoe company last month for suspicion of using pirated software, a total of 20 officers were sent in to seize 41 computers. Behind the raid was the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which counts Microsoft and Adobe among its nine active members in the CR. Since 1996, such well-publicized raids have helped lower the amount of pirated software from 53% of the total to 43% and have brought huge profits to BSA's members. Microsoft saw its Czech/Slovak sales of Windows jump 31% last year, to 450,000 copies. The EU and the U.S. have praised the CR for its efforts to combat violations of intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, it's mainly a small number of players who have profited from this. Microsoft and its partners have turned the police into their own private army. Other businesses and citizens deserve equal protection. piracy


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