Results of an international survey on software piracy show that losses to the software businesses exceeded £8 billion in 1999 and approached £40 billion during the past five years. The survey was commissioned by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIAA) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
More than one in every three business software applications in use during 1999 was pirated.
"Software piracy continues unabated, robbing the industry of thousands of jobs, billions in wages, tax revenues and critical investments in new technologies," according to Robert Holleyman, president and CEO, Business Software Alliance. "No industry would or should tolerate such a high rate of theft. The explosive growth of the internet is making piracy even more prevalent, since pirated copies of software can be distributed and downloaded quickly and globally, with the click of a mouse. Faced with this threat, BSA has stepped up its education and enforcement efforts, while also asking governments worldwide to show leadership in tackling this very serious, growing problem," he concluded.
The three countries with the highest losses from piracy were, from highest to third highest, the United States, Japan and the UK. Western Europe accounted for losses of £2.4 billion, just £1.3 million short of the North America figure. The five-year cost of software piracy in Western Europe cost publishers more than £10 billion in lost revenue.
In terms of piracy rates, the study estimates that more than eight in ten business software applications are pirated in 19 countries including Vietnam, China and Russia.