40 per cent of business software installed illegally

Piracy still rampant, claim anti-piracy watchdogs

Nearly 40 per cent of all business software installed during 1998 was done so illegally, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) have reported. In a survey conducted jointly by both trade organisations, an estimated 615 million new applications were installed across the globe last year, 231 million of them unlicensed. That figure was up 2.5 million copies on 1997's figure, and represents a cost to the software industry of $11 billion. Unsurprisingly, countries will little or no intellectual property protection legislation showed some of the highest piracy rates, most notably Vietnam (97 per cent), China (95 per cent) and Indonesia (92 per cent), though in value terms the Far East caused the industry less fiscal damage than it has in the past. The region was second only to Eastern Europe in terms of the quantity of illegal copies being used. In value terms, North America, the UK, Germany and France all generated a high financial impact, even though the level of piracy was fairly low. That tells you all you need to know about just how high prices are in the West. The level of piracy in Western Europe fell by three per cent over 1997's figures, suggesting that software companies are starting to price their products at a point where fewer users feel they need to pirate software. ®

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