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Global ‘piracy’ study shows Australia tops US, UK & NZ in software piracy

  • 03 June, 2003 16:43

<p>June 3, 2003: The average piracy rate for commercial software in Asia Pacific is at its highest level since 1996 and dollar losses in the region in 2002 were at an all time high of US$5.5 billion, according to the Business Software Alliance’s (BSA) eighth annual survey on global software piracy (</p>
<p>The average software piracy rate in Asia Pacific rose for the third year in a row to 55 per cent in 2002, attributable partly to strong growth in demand for software in China, which has the highest piracy rate for software in the Asia Pacific region.</p>
<p>In Australia, the piracy rate in 20022 was estimated at 32 per cent, the average for the past six years, equating to losses of around A$220 million for the year (US$138.49 million).</p>
<p>By comparison, the New Zealand piracy rate decreased to 24 per cent.</p>
<p>US piracy rates hit an all-time low of 23 per cent, currently the lowest piracy rate in the world for commercial software, and the UK increased one point to 26 per cent.</p>
<p>Chairman of the Business Software Association of Australia, Jim Macnamara, said it was not reasonable to compare Australia’s software piracy rate with countries such as China. “Rather, Australia as a developed country with visions of being a leader in the Information Age and harbouring local IT development, should be comparable with the US, UK and countries like New Zealand. However, the research shows Australia lagging in copyright enforcement behind other developed countries,” Mr Macnamara said.</p>
<p>Mr Macnamara said the Australian software piracy rate had hovered around the 32 per cent mark since 1996 which was a sign that not enough was being done in Australia to protect intellectual property such as software.</p>
<p>“No other industry has to face around one-third of its products being stolen every year. Irrespective of various excuses given and illogical arguments that software piracy is a ‘victimless crime’, such losses have a negative impact on industry competitiveness, investment levels and prices,” Mr Macnamara said.</p>
<p>BSA Vice President and Regional Director, Asia Pacific, Jeff Hardee, said: “BSA is very concerned that the average software piracy rate in Asia Pacific is rising in contrast to every other region except for Eastern Europe. If Asia Pacific countries are to realise the economic benefits software generates in an advancing economy, software piracy levels must be brought down,” Mr Hardee said.</p>
<p>A worldwide study conducted by IDC released in April 2003, estimated that a 10 per cent reduction in software piracy in Australia by 2006 could increase the local IT sector to nearly A$35 billion, boost local industry revenues by A$5 billion, create 7,000 new jobs, and generate another A$728 million in tax revenues.</p>
<p>In Asia Pacific, a 10 per cent reduction in software piracy would add 1.1 million new jobs, US$170 billion in additional economic growth and more than US$15 billion in tax revenues, according to IDC.</p>
<p>The BSA Global Software Piracy Study was conducted by International Planning and Research Corporation (IPR), an independent research firm. The study evaluated sales data and market information on 26 business software applications in six major world regions encompassing 85 countries. The methodology involved reconciliation of two sets of data: the demand for new software applications and the legal supply of new software applications. The data are derived from two primary sources: software shipment data supplied by BSA member companies and market data provided by MetaFacts, Inc., a technology market research firm.</p>
<p>The Business Software Association of Australia believes that software piracy can only be reduced through a four-pronged strategy involving education; assistance to businesses in managing software licences; technological solutions; and litigation.</p>
<p>“Technological solutions are a decision for individual software vendors and we don’t see them as the total solution because a sub-industry develops to find a way around devices such as locks and passwords and also the aim of the industry is to make software easier to use – not harder.</p>
<p>“Therefore, the focus of the BSAA is on positive initiatives such as education to raise awareness of benefits of using legal software and, conversely, the risks of using illegal software; assisting businesses such as with auditing tools; and litigation in serious cases. However, legal measures require the support of the Government and too little is being done in Australia to ensure adequate penalties and criminal action against blatant software piracy,” Mr Macnamara said.</p>
Jim Macnamara Chairman, BSAA
Telephone: 0414 393 655 Media inquiries:
Pru Quinlan - Einsteinz
Telephone: (02) 9965 7227 or 0405 100 585</p>
<p>More information:
Toll-free hotline for public inquiries (anonymously if preferred): 1800 021 143
BSAA Web site:</p>
<p>About BSAA
The Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) is affiliated with the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which operates globally in 65 countries. BSAA members include Adobe, Autodesk, Macromedia, Microsoft and Symantec.</p>
<p>The Business Software Alliance ( is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent the fastest growing industry in the world. BSA educates consumers on software management and copyright protection, cyber security, trade, e-commerce and other Internet-related issues. BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, Cisco Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, EDS PLM Solutions, Entrust, HP, IBM, Intel, Internet Security Systems, Intuit, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates, Novell, PeopleSoft, Robert McNeel &amp; Associates, SeeBeyond, SolidWorks, Sybase and Symantec.</p>

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