29 Jul 2004

What is it?
A website looking at the policy issues surrounding software and intellectual property (IP) use in the EU. It is produced by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a lobby group for the global software industry.

Who is it for?
Software vendors that wish to get a better understanding of Europe’s (and the BSA’s) position on IP rights and software protection; software users who wish to know their legal rights concerning software.

What features does it contain?
The latest news and policy positions on copyright and intellectual property, security and cyber crime, anti-piracy measures and enforcement and trade and e-commerce. The site also contains press releases from the BSA as well as a resource section that contains relevant policy statements, white papers and research. The latter includes the findings of the organisation’s latest Global Software Piracy Survey, which reveals that 36pc of the software installed on computers worldwide was pirated in 2003, representing a loss of nearly US$29bn to the global software industry.

How does it look?
As would be expected, serious and businesslike. This is reinforced by a muted colour scheme. Frivolity and visual gimmickry are certainly not a feature of this site.

The verdict?
The site gives a helpful summary of copyright and IP issues relating to software and contains some useful research. Points against include a slightly preaching tone and lack of engagement with the reader through discussion boards and so on. The use of photographs or other imagery would perhaps help counter the text-heavy style and grave tone.

By Brian Skelly