Can new Microsoft initiative have an impact on piracy rates?

BY LUIS C. SCHMIDT
PARTNER
WORLD COPYRIGHT LAW REPORT, DECEMBER 2007
The market research company IDC has published the results of a new study into piracy rates in Mexico. The study and research took place at the request of Microsoft Mexico. It estimates piracy rates in Mexico to be 63%, compared to an average of 35% in the rest of the world. Withing Mexico, the highest concentration of software copying was found to take place in the most populated cities and states, including Mexico City metropolitan area and the cities of Guadalajara, Monterrey and Veracruz.
In response to the study, Microsoft has launched a campaign called “Genuine Software Initiative” with the purpose of educating end users of business software about the advantage of using original copies of software and the disadvantages of using non-authorized copies software products. In keeping with this, Microsoft Mexico has increased its efforts and investments in strategic sectors such as education, technology and enforcement.
Educational actions are designed to help protect consumers and, it is hoped, have an effective on piracy rates. The IDC study reported that consumers could better protect themselves as others if they were capable or recognizing pirated software and able to tell the difference between original and illegal copies. Technological measures are also important and Microsoft has invested in systems to protect its products against unauthorized copying. As to enforcement, the company has intensified its programmes by working hand in hand with Mexican government bodies in the fight against infringers, by taking legal action in both criminal and civil actions. Many of the actions have been started based on information obtained from consumers reports using websites or other forms of communication.