A report into global software piracy has claimed that a 10 per cent drop in the use of unlicensed software in the UK would lead to 34,000 extra jobs and an extra £11bn in revenue every year.
The survey, carried out by analyst firm IDC for the Business Software Alliance, further estimated that a 10 per cent drop in global piracy rates would generate 2.4 million extra jobs, £230bn in extra economic growth and an additional £34.5bn in tax revenues.
"Software casts a large shadow in terms of the number of people employed in the IT industry," said Duncan Brown, consultant director at IDC UK.
"There's the larger ecosystem, distributors, value-added resellers and educational trainers which all benefit. If someone is selling a copy of Microsoft Office for £10 they cannot compete."
The report found that countries with the highest piracy rates, such as Russia and Vietnam, have the most to gain from cracking down on piracy.
Piracy is "killing" the software industry in those countries, according to the report, since local producers cannot run businesses and match the pirates' prices.
But others have cast doubt on the report's conclusions over the extra jobs created. "It is debatable whether the funds made available by cutting piracy would have this effect," said Andy Buss, principle analyst at Canalys.
"There would be some economic benefits in certain areas, but there is only a limited amount of money to go round. The more people spend on software licensing the less they will spend on other things."
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