BSA: The rate of unlicensed software use in Azerbaijan is still high

BSA: The rate of unlicensed software use in Azerbaijan is still high

 BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA) published its Special 301 report submission to the Office of the United States Representative (USTR). The Special 301 Report is prepared annually by the USTR and it identifies trade barriers or deficiencies to United States companies and products due to intellectual property laws in other countries.

BSA’s submission to the USTR identified Azerbaijan as a Country of Concern due to the high rate of unlicensed software use in Azerbaijan (85%), which remains one of the highest in the world.

BSA considers that Azerbaijan should improve implementation of measures aimed at intellectual property protection. Regardless the fact that government officials and general public are gaining better understanding of the risks involved in using unlicensed software and the importance of intellectual property to the economy, in practice policies and the whole system have not changed. BSA Members have undertaken extensive, substantive work to ensure the software distribution channel is free from unlicensed software, but lack of a major intellectual property enforcement remains with respect to commercial enterprises, large corporations and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) alike, which continue to use unlicensed software.

BSA urged the government of Azerbaijan to take steps to improve its relevant laws governing the protection and enforcement of intellectual property and to ensure that they are in compliance with international standards. Specifically, BSA suggest to the government of Azerbaijan that it should amend:

• the Criminal and Administrative Procedural Codes to provide ex officio authority to law enforcement agencies and to increase penalties for intellectual property infringements to create an effective deterrence against the use of unlicensed software;
• the Civil Code to provide ex parte search provisions for effective enforcement against commercial end-users; and
• the Civil Code, the Law on Copyright and Related Right and the Law on Ensuring Intellectual Property and Combating Piracy to provide for deterrent damages awards.

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