Software piracy costs $278M in RP for 2010

Published by rudy Date posted on May 16, 2011

The piracy level on personal computer (PC) software remains at a high 69 percent in the country but the cost from the copyrights violation rose from $141.7 million in 2007 to $278 million in 2010, according to the Business Software Alliance’s (BSA) recently released 2010 Global Software Piracy Study.

BSA consultant for the Philippines Bien Marquez III said despite increased efforts by the government and the local information technology (IT) industry in protecting software copyright, huge challenges remain in efforts to drive piracy rates down.

“Even as the Philippine IT industry develops, many companies are still oblivious to what constitutes illegal software use, a fact that the BSA has been working tirelessly with the Philippine government to change through education and enforcement activities,” Marquez said.

“The results of the BSA study reinforce the need for a more aggressive fight against software piracy. These clearly show that there is still much to be done to bring down the software piracy rate in the country,” he added.

The commercial value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers in the Asia Pacific region reached a record $18.7 billion in 2010 as 60 percent of software deployed on PCs during the year was pirated, more than double the losses of $7.5 billion in 2003.

In comparison, in 2009, 59 percent of the software installed on PCs in Asia Pacific was obtained illegally, while the value of pirated software amounted to over $16.5 billion, according to the BSA study.

This is the eighth study of global software piracy to be conducted by the BSA in partnership with IDC, the IT industry’s leading market research and forecasting firm, using a methodology that incorporates 182 discrete data inputs for 116 countries and regions around the world.

This year’s study also includes a new dimension: a public-opinion survey of PC users on key social attitudes and behaviors related to software piracy, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

The opinion survey found strong support for intellectual property rights, with seven in 10 respondents expressing support for paying inventors for their creations to promote more technology advances.

Strikingly, support for intellectual property rights was strongest in markets with high piracy rates.

The survey also found widespread recognition that licensed software is better than pirated software, because it is understood to be more secure and more reliable. The problem is many PC users lack a clear understanding of whether common ways of acquiring software, such as buying a single program license for multiple computers or downloading a program from a peer-to-peer network, is legal or illegal.

“Clearly, there is a strong appreciation for the value delivered by legal software,” Marquez said.

“The results reinforce the need to educate users that software downloaded from P2P networks is often illegal, and installing software purchased for one computer on multiple home or office PCs is piracy,” he added.

Globally, the value of software theft grew to a record $59 billion, nearly double that when the study began in 2003.

Half of the 116 geographies studied in 2010 had piracy rates of 62 percent or higher, with the global average piracy rate at 42 percent.

Emerging economies have become a driving force behind PC software piracy. Piracy rates in the developing world are 2.5 times higher than those in the developed world, and the commercial value of pirated software ($31.9 billion) accounts for more than half of the world total.

The most cited advantages of licensed software globally are access to technical assistance (88 percent) and protection from hackers and malware (81 percent).

Strong majorities of PC users around the world believe intellectual property rights and protections produce tangible economic benefits: 59 percent globally say IP rights benefit local economies, while 61 percent globally say IP rights create jobs.

Among the common ways people engage in piracy is to buy a single copy of software and install it on multiple computers. In fact, this year’s survey found that 51 percent of business-decision makers in developing markets erroneously believe that this is legal.

Consumers have been buying an increasing share of the world’s PCs in recent years. Just three years ago, they accounted for 43 percent of the world’s installed base of PCs. In 2010, this rose to 52 percent. This growth is also significant because consumers tend to install more software per computer than do enterprises. –Ayen Infante, Daily Tribune

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