An effective attack on software piracy could increase the number of jobs available in the UK business software market by around 31,000 over the next four years.
A report from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) claims a small reduction in software piracy could benefit vendors and the UK economy as a whole. By forcing piracy levels down, software vendors would be able to increase sales and would have to hire more staff to cope.
Reducing piracy of packaged software from its current level of 43 per cent for PC business software, to figure closer to US levels of 27 per cent, would lead to an increase in software sales of around #1.9 billion.
The whole UK economy would benefit from a clampdown as the government would receive around #650 million in tax revenues as the legitimate software industry rushes to fill the gap left by pirated products.
The BSA predicts that, over the next four years, the UK software industry will have provided 110,975 jobs, created #10.46 billion in sales and contributed about #2 billion in tax revenue to the economy.
The BSA has a vested interest in reducing piracy levels as its members include most of the major software vendors including Microsoft, Lotus and Adobe.
?Available evidence suggests that much illegal copying takes place within business users? organisations, either deliberately or through ignorance of copyright laws or licensing terms,? the report claims.
The BSA cites Italy as an example of successful legislation having a real effect on piracy. ?The Italian government strengthened its copyright law in December 1992 by implementing the EC Computer Programs Directive. In just one year, these legal and enforcement efforts produced a fourfold growth in the legal software market, and reduced the estimated rate of piracy in Italy from 85 per cent to 50 per cent.?
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