Interfax Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine, Tue, May 25, 2010

KYIV - Microsoft Corporation and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) say they are planning to step up the fight against the proliferation of counterfeit software in Ukraine.

"Despite the fact that the basis of software piracy - PC and laptop sales - have fallen in Ukraine over the past year, we have a rise of piracy from 84% to 85%," BSA's legal representative in Ukraine Vladyslav Shapoval said at a press conference in Kyiv on May 18, citing the results of research into the level of the use of counterfeit software, which was conducted by his association along with the IDC research firm.

He said that one of the main reasons for such a high level of software piracy was the current insufficient dialog between software producers and the authorities.

"The protection of intellectual property rights is, first and foremost, a matter for their owner. The state only creates the necessary mechanisms," according to Deputy Head of the State Department for Intellectual Property Protection Volodymyr Dmytryshyn.

According to Director General of Microsoft Ukraine Dmytro Shymkiv, the company, apart from its traditional policy of informing the public about the danger of the use of counterfeit software, will switch to more stringent measures.

"Microsoft will submit civil claims against companies using illegal software... We will take a tougher stance on software sellers," he warned, promising, however, that such measures will not be applied to private users. Microsoft also intends to work to combat the spread in Ukraine of illegal software via the Internet.

FOOTNOTE:  Microsoft is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Washington, D.C.,