Canada’s software piracy rate decreased three percentage points from 36 per cent to 33 per cent in 2005, falling below the worldwide piracy rate, which remained stable at 35 per cent, according to the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The two organizations recently released findings of a global software piracy study that indicates losses to the Canadian economy due to software piracy were $943 million, down $166 million from 2004. Canada is also among the top 20 countries with the lowest software piracy rates worldwide.
The independent study, conducted by IDC, shows some improvements in a number of markets that indicate anti-piracy education, enforcement and policy efforts are beginning to pay off in emerging economies such as China, Russia and India and in Central/Eastern Europe and the Middle East & Africa. However, losses from software piracy worldwide amounted to $41 billion in 2005, an increase of $752 million over the previous year.
“It’s encouraging to see progress being made in reducing Canada’s software piracy rate and how it is approaching the rates found in countries such as the U.K., Germany and Australia,” said Jacquie Famulak, president of CAAST. “However, more than one out of every three copies of PC software put into use in Canada in 2005 was still obtained illegally. This continues to have an impact on our economy and local software vendors, suppliers and channel partners in the wholesale-to-retail distribution chain are among the most deeply affected. This year’s study shows that software piracy can indeed be lowered, but also that more work needs to be done.”
Some positive changes were seen in rapidly developing countries such as Russia, which saw a four point drop in its PC software piracy rate while India’s piracy rate declined two points. China, with one of the fastest growing IT markets in the world, dropped four points between 2004 and 2005.