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May 16, 2008, 12.54 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Illegal PC Software use is down to 69% in India

Piracy of software on personal computers (PC) in India fell to 69 percentage points for 2007 from 71% in 2006, amid a global trend in which piracy rates dropped in most countries. However, industry losses due to software piracy in India rose to US$2 billion in 2007 as compared to US$1.28 billion in 2006

Piracy of software on personal computers (PC) in India fell to 69 percentage points for 2007 from 71% in 2006, amid a global trend in which piracy rates dropped in most countries. However, industry losses due to software piracy in India rose to US$2 billion in 2007 as compared to US$1.28 billion in 2006. 

 

These are among the findings of the fifth annual global PC software piracy study released today by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international association representing the global software industry. The study covers 108 countries and was conducted independently by IDC, the information technology (IT) industry’s leading global market research and forecasting firm.

 

“This report shows that we are making progress in the battle against software piracy, albeit slowly as compared to other nations like Russia, whose piracy rate dropped by 7 points in 2007. India, as an IT leader, needs a concrete all-inclusive anti-piracy education, engagement and enforcement plan to effectively lower software piracy year on year. This could be achieved if there is a right mix of improvements at all levels, in particular, raising general public awareness, establishing specialized intellectual property rights (IPR) courts, creating uniform and equipped IPR Police Cells and fostering greater Government-Industry-Private Partnerships.” said Keshav S Dhakad, Chair of the BSA India Committee.  “Studies have consistently shown that reducing piracy further would deliver significant benefits for local consumers, local software and services firms, small businesses, government tax collections, and the society and economy at large.”

 

Piracy rates in India have been on a gradual decline since the last three years. The Government of India, industry bodies and software companies, while have been taking initiatives and making efforts to curb the menace of piracy, challenges at various fronts still remain. Among the courts of the Nation, the Delhi High Court has been pro-active in attacking software piracy quite effectively. The need of the hour is for the Indian Government to make consistent efforts to see an even greater drop in piracy levels which would greatly benefit the Indian economy and make it internationally more competitive. 

 

Software piracy affects much more than just the industry revenues. An IDC economic impact study  released in January this year found that by reducing PC software piracy in India by ten percentage points over a period of four years could generate an additional 44,000 new jobs, US$3.1 billion in economic growth, and US$200 million in tax revenues. The study also predicted an additional US$208 million in revenues to local vendors alone.

 

Other key findings from the Global PC Software Piracy Study:

 

  • Among the 108 countries studied, PC software piracy dropped in sixty-seven countries, and increased in only eight. However, because the worldwide PC market grew fastest in high-piracy countries, the worldwide piracy rate increased by three percentage points to 38% in 2007. 
  • In Asia, the highest-piracy countries were Bangladesh (92%), Sri Lanka (90%) and Vietnam (85%). Among the lowest-piracy countries were Japan (23%), Singapore (37%) and Taiwan (40%).  

“This study shows that government and industry anti-piracy efforts are delivering software piracy reductions in many countries; however, rapid PC growth in higher-piracy emerging markets translates into an overall increase in global piracy,” said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC. “We expect this trend to continue, meaning industry and government must increasingly focus their efforts on combating piracy in these emerging economies.” 

 

BSA advocates a five-point “blueprint” for reducing software piracy and reaping the economic benefits:

 

·       Increase public education and awareness of the value of intellectual property and the risks of using unlicensed software;

 

·        Update national copyright laws to implement World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) obligations in order to enable better and more effective enforcement against digital and online piracy;

 

·         Create strong enforcement mechanisms as required by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), including tough anti-piracy laws;

 

·         Dedicate significant government resources to the problem, including national IP enforcement units, cross-border cooperation, and training for local officers and judiciary officials; and

 

·         Lead by example by implementing software management policies and requiring the public sector to use only legitimate software. 

 

The BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study covers piracy of all packaged software that runs on personal computers, including desktops, laptops, and ultra-portables. The study does not include other types of software such as server- or mainframe-based software. IDC used proprietary statistics for software and hardware shipments and enlisted IDC analysts in more than sixty countries to confirm software piracy trends.

 

Sourced From: 20 : 20 Media Pvt Ltd

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