The US has the lowest rate of software piracy, according to a study released by the Business Software Alliance and the Software Publishers Association.
The US recorded a piracy rate of 26 per cent, one of the lowest individual country rates. Vietnam, with 99 per cent of its software pirated, was the worst, with El Salvador on 97 per cent, and China and Oman on 96 per cent, following close behind.
Measured regionally, the former Eastern Bloc has the worst record with 83 per cent of the application software in use there being illegal.
The SPA praised the efforts of President Bill Clinton's administration in beefing up intellectual property right laws as a contributory factor in an overall worldwide reduction in the levels of piracy.
SPA president Ken Wasch said copyright and intellectial property were at the top of the agenda for the US Trade Representative Office. "We [the US] were ready to have a trade war with China over intellectual property protection for software," he recalled.
But the Association warned that the use of illegal software still ran at unacceptably high levels and cost the industry $13.1 billion in lost revenue in 1995.
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