According to figures from the US Business Software Alliance and the US Software Publisher Association, roughly 40% of all software sold across the world is pirated, which amounts to 228 million copies of the overall 574 million titles sold. Microsoft Corp, which provides software for around 90% of all the computers used in the world, […]
According to figures from the US Business Software Alliance and the US Software Publisher Association, roughly 40% of all software sold across the world is pirated, which amounts to 228 million copies of the overall 574 million titles sold. Microsoft Corp, which provides software for around 90% of all the computers used in the world, logically stands to lose the most and has had software piracy clamp-downs and campaigns in action for some time now (CI No 3,197). It also heavily funds the BSA and debate has arisen as to whether the organization acts solely on Microsoft’s behalf. According to a recent report in US political magazine Mother Jones, Novell Inc and IBM’s Lotus Development Corp unit will pull out of BSA programs in Asia and Latin America as a result of the perceived partisan nature of the BSA. The publication says that Microsoft denies the allegations, but points out that Netscape Communications Corp is reluctant to join the BSA for the same reasons. Further accusations suggest Microsoft has ordered the BSA to stop working on cases that relate to its software, and instead prefers to offer its own deals with the companies involved.
Software police force
Microsoft’s anti-piracy manager for the UK, David Gregory said while Microsoft does fund the BSA, so do other companies. He went on to say: It’s like having a police force in a country. The public pay for the police, but they can’t decide what or how they do things. In the same way, IT company’s pay into an organization (BSA) and let them get on with their job. Microsoft has recently launched initiatives to combat piracy in India (CI No 3,377) and has also been involved with attempts to crush the problem in Israel (CI No 3,398). With piracy levels so high in Asia and money so tight, Microsoft cut software prices in several Asian countries at the start of the year in an attempt to reduce piracy incidents. But Gregory says Redmond has managed to reduce piracy rates since its campaign started and since it introduced the OpenLicense 10 unit licensing program, which apparently has encouraged companies to legalize their software. According to Gregory software piracy is not so much as a problem for Microsoft as it was in the past, but counterfeiting is where it faces most risk from now (CI No 3,362). Rates in terms of regions are the highest in Eastern Europe at 77%, but while the US has the lowest rate at 27% it suffers the biggest losses at around $2.7bn every year. The country with the highest rates of piracy is Vietnam at 98% followed by China at 96% and Indonesia at 93% The losses derived on a global basis amounts to $11.382bn a year.