When a country takes steps to reduce software piracy it benefits everyone as the workers get new jobs, consumers have more choices, entrepreneurs freely market their creativity and governments earn increased tax revenues.
This is the crux of a latest international study on software piracy released by Business Software Alliance (BSA), a group of world’s leading software companies. The piracy rates in individual countries range from 21 percent to 92 percent observed the study conducted in 70 countries. Yet “ev ry country and region in the world could benefit from software piracy reductions,” said the study entitled “Expanding the Frontiers ofour Digital Future: Reducing Software Piracy to Accelerate Global IT benefits”.

It also found that “countries with the highest software piracy rates would achieve the largest relative benefits from piracy reductions.” Because of their high piracy rates the curtailment would have a major impact on the legitimate software market. The study observed that computer users benefit from piracy reduction too, as they tend to have more software choices from greater competition in the market. In addition, they gain customer support services, more reliable products and software upgrade capabilities.
Similarly, the workers get the advantage of having jobs in the higher paying IT sector when piracy is reduced. A 10 per cent reduction in piracy between 2004 and 2009 could create 2.4 million more IT industry jobs for the workers, the study estimated. The innovators also benefit from low piracy rate because their creative spirit can be financially rewarded. “When the creative works are not fully protected, the IT sector cannot realize its full potential,” the BSA study pointed out.
It noted that every step forward in reducing piracy creates more local companies, which in turn hire more workers, who pay more taxes and accelerate socio-economic growth. A 10 per cent drop in piracy over four years could create $67 billion in additional tax benefits for governments, the study added. A multitude of different businesses also benefit, beyond thosethat create software, because when piracy is reduced, new opportunities are created in packaging, marketing, sales, distribution, customization and servicing of products.
The report stressed that the key to stemming piracy comes from education and proactive government-led efforts. Piracy rates can be reduced by creating stronger legal protection for software, increasing the effectiveness of enforcement, educating and improving public awareness and partnering with the industry, it added.

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