BSA: 41 per cent of software used in EMEA is pirated

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) Wednesday published the results of its 2003 Global Piracy Study conducted by global market intelligence and advisory firm, IDC, which reveals a software piracy rate in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region of 41 per cent.

From the study, BSA reports that South Africa’s (SA’s) software piracy rate was estimated at 36 per cent in 2003, representing a loss of US$146.8 million in revenue to the local economy.

In response to the study, the BSA has announced a strategic five-point plan to tackle the issue of software piracy in the region. It says the Alliance’s Five-Point Action plan will involve fostering respect for Intellectual Property (IP), increasing confidence in the industry, so as to encourage continued investment in research and development to fuel the investment and growth of the digital economy, and ensuring that all businesses understand the potential implications of lax security and the importance of creating a safe and legal working environment.

They will also encourage effective and speedy implementation of policies and laws designed to create a healthy software industry and a strong environment for innovation, as well as increasing appreciation of software as a fundamental business asset resulting in improved Software Asset Management (SAM) practices.

“The results confirm that software piracy continues to be a major challenge, and that SA is failing to capitalize on the benefits that a reduction in software piracy could bring,” said Stephan Le Roux, the newly appointed chairman of the BSA in this country.

Le Roux added that “real improvements can only be effected by significant changes in the legislative environment and public support, at all levels, for intellectual property and creative industries.”

Conducted for the first time by IDC, BSA says the study now incorporates major software market segments, including operating systems, consumer software and local market software, giving a more accurate picture of the software piracy problem.