December 19th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) Operations aimed at curtailing software piracy in Costa Rica have resulted in eight raids on businesses, 12 lawsuits, and fines that could reach 160 million colons (about $320,000 USD) this year.
According to data supplied by Microsoft, 2012 saw an increase in raids on companies using unlicensed software. In operations conducted throughout the year, more than 400 computers were inspected.
Sciancalepore Miguel, Director of Intellectual Property at Microsoft, explained that companies were contacted regarding the risks of using pirated software prior to the raids. At least 20 companies will be investigated next year.
According to the consulting firm IDC, the rate of piracy in Costa Rica rose to 58%, meaning that nearly 6 out of 10 computers in the country are running pirated software.
The distribution, sale, use or installation of unlicensed commercial software is against the law in Costa Rica. Consequences can include up to 5 years imprisonment as well as restitution to the software maker(s) for losses.