Lobby group claims business big user of pirate software

Lobby group claims business big user of pirate software

According to a survey jointly conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and technology research house IDC, over a third of all software used last year on personal computers was pirated.

This amounted to a $33 billion loss for the industry, the report said.

The good news was that the 2004 rate of 35 percent was lower than the 36 percent piracy rate reported in 2003.

The United States was said to have the lowest piracy rate at 21 percent, while it was as much as 90 percent in Vietnam, the Ukraine, China, and Zimbabwe. The piracy rate in the EU averages 35 percent, and in Russia the piracy rate is 87 percent.

The BSA, an industry lobby group, claims that the piracy rate is directly related to the strength of software copyright laws in various countries. For example the United Arab Emirates, which adopted strong intellectual property laws in the mid-1990s, has a software piracy rate of 34 percent, compared to an average rate of 58 percent in the Middle East and Africa.

The desire to trade globally may also be a factor in reducing software piracy, as nations that wish to join bodies such as the World Trade Organization – Vietnam is one such country – are more motivated to strengthen intellectual property protections.

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