Software industry's theoretical loss to piracy down last year

Great news! The software industry lost less theoretical income last year than in 1995 as a result of software piracy. Still, a new study commissioned by the Business Software Alliance estimates that of the 523 million new business software applications used last year, 225 million units were pirated, resulting in revenue losses to the software industry of about US$11.2 billion.

Close to half the copies of new business applications used around the world during 1996 were pirated, according to a new study of global software piracy.

The study, conducted by International Planning and Research (IPR), estimates that of the 523 million new business software applications used last year, 225 million units were pirated, resulting in revenue losses to the software industry of about US$11.2 billion. The research was commissioned by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Software Publishers Association (SPA).

While the revenue lost is less than the 1995 estimate lost, when the vendors took a piracy hit of $13.3 billion, the study's sponsors attribute that decline to lower software prices, not a decrease in piracy. The number of pirated copies this year rose 20%, from 187 million estimated by the 1995 study.

Regionally, the highest piracy rates were found in Eastern Europe, where illegal copying accounts for 80 percent of business applications, according to the study. While North America's rate was lowest, at 28 percent, the size of the market means it accounted for the largest dollar loss, $2.7 billion.

Countries where some of the worst offenders reside were Vietnam, with 99%pirated software; China, with 96%; Oman, with 95%; and Russia, with 91%. More well-behaved users can be found in the U.S., with piracy estimated at 27 percent, and Australia, the UK, Denmark, New Zealand, and Germany, where piracy rates ranged from 32% to 36%.

1996 Software Piracy Study: Piracy Rates by Region

Asia-Pacific - $3.7 billion in losses

Vietnam: 99%

Indonesia: 97%

China: 96%

Australia: 32%

New Zealand: 35%

Japan: 41%

Korea: 70 %

North America - $2.7 billion in losses

U.S.: 27%

Canada: 42%

Western Europe - $2.5 billion in losses

Greece: 78%

Ireland: 70%

U.K.: 34 %

Germany: 36%

France: 44 percent

Latin America - $910 million in losses

El Salvador: 92%

Bolivia: 89%

Guatemala: 89%

Nicaragua: 89%

Paraguay: 89%

Eastern Europe - $880 million in losses

CIS (excluding Russia): 95%

Slovenia: 91%

Russia: 91%

Bulgaria: 98%

Slovakia: 56%

Czech Republic: 53%

Middle East & Africa - $511 million in losses

Oman: 95%

Bahrain: 90%

Qatar: 89%

Kuwait:89%

South Africa: 49%

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