Almost half of the 523 million new business applications installed during 1996 were pirated, an increase of 20 per cent over the year before. In the UK, about one-third of business applications are still illegally installed.
Worldwide, the software industry is losing $11.2 billion through piracy. This is a drop of 16 per cent, but the latest figures on the problem claim this is because of lower software prices rather than any decrease in piracy.
According to the second independent study on global software piracy by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Software Publishers Association (SPA), 1996 numbers show that illegal software remains a significant problem worldwide. ?It directly affects all software companies, regardless of size," said Ken Wasch, president of the SPA.
Data was collated for 80 countries in six world regions across 26 business applications. Eastern Europe continues to have the highest regional piracy rates, with an average of 80 per cent of applications unlicensed, and the lowest regional rate is in north America, although this is one per cent higher than last year at 28 per cent. Conversely, north America suffered the highest dollar losses in the world, $2.7 billion for 1996.
Individual countries with lower piracy rates include the US on 27 per cent, Australia with 32 per cent, the UK on 34 per cent, Denmark and New Zealand on 35 per cent, and Germany on 36 per cent. Countries with the highest rates include Vietnam, China, Oman and Russia, on 99, 96, 95 and 91 per cent respectively.
Robert Holleyman, president of the BSA, commented: ?Software piracy continues to flourish and the theft is particularly insidious because it leaves a legacy of lost jobs and wages. Piracy may begin on a single computer, but its effects are felt by software publishers and retailers throughout the world.?
In western Europe alone, revenue losses from software piracy were estimated at $2.5 billion in 1996, although this was a $1 billion improvement on 1995. The UK maintains the lowest rate of illegal use in this region at 34 per cent, while Germany and France report 36 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.
Within eastern Europe, the worst performer is the Commonwealth of Independent States (excluding Russia),with 95 per cent of its software pirated, a one per cent increase on last year. Slovenia and Russia both stand at 91 per cent and Bulgaria chalks up a massive 98 per cent.
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