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Drop in software piracy rate

Value of fakes rose last year; crackdown to intensify



Thailand's software piracy rate dropped to 72 per cent last year from 73 per cent in 2010, but the value of pirated software rose from US$777 million to $852 million, or Bt26.4 billion, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA)'s 2011 Global Software Piracy Study.

Thailand ranked 15th in terns of commercial value of pirated software. The value of legal software in the Kingdom in 2011 was $331 million.

BSA spokesperson Varunee Ratchatapattanakul said the software piracy rate in 2011 was 72 per cent, meaning nearly two out of three programs installed by computer users was unlicensed. Therefore, authorities were likely to react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a concerted public-education campaign and vigorous law enforcement, Varunee said.

Globally, the study found that the rate of piracy in emerging markets is higher than in mature markets. On average, the piracy rate in emerging markets is 68 per cent, compared to 24 per cent in mature markets.

BSA president and chief executive officer Robert Holleyman said that software piracy persists as a drain on the global economy, IT innovation and job creation. Governments must take steps to modernise their intellectual property (IP) laws and expand enforcement efforts to ensure that those who pirate software face real consequences, Holleyman said.

The pirated software rate for Asia Pacific in 2011 was 60 per cent, worth around $20.99 billion, while the global rate is 42 per cent, worth $63.45 billion, up from $58.8 billion in 2010 and a new record, propelled by PC shipments to emerging markets where piracy rates are highest.

Varunee added that the BSA proposes the authorities execute three solutions to reduce the piracy rate. First, the government should increase public education and raise awareness about software piracy and intellectual property (IP) rights in cooperation with industry and law enforcement. Second, the government should strengthen enforcement of IP laws with dedicated resources including specialised enforcement units, training for law enforcement and judiciary officials. And third, the government should lead by example by using licensed software, implementing software asset-management programmes, and promoting the use of legal software at state enterprises, and among all contractors and suppliers.

This study was the ninth annual study of global software piracy conducted by BSA in partnership with International Data Corporation and Ipsos Public Affairs. Its methodology involves collecting 182 discrete data inputs and assessing PC and software trends in 116 markets. It also includes a survey of 15,000 computer users in 33 countries that together constitute 82 per cent of the global PC market.


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