A recent investigation into reports of the sale of illegal software in Latvia by the Business Software Alliance has uncovered endemic rates of piracy, not just in independent computer retailers but also large retail chains.
The investigation, which was carried out by Secret buyer, found that over half of Latvia’s stores were ready and willing to sell pirated software, with some stores offering to install the software on customer’s computers for just short of the price of licensed software.
It found that often customers were unaware that the software being installed wasn’t licensed.
"We found that almost one half of Latvia’s stores are ready to sell illegal computer software, thus placing the buyer in the role of the offender," said Latvian committee executive director Sanita Meijere.
"When the customers said that they were buying a computer for home use, the shop assistants themselves offered to install illegal software on the computer.
"It should be added that the sellers often required as high sum of money for such service, as a licensed software pack for home users would cost," he added.