May 18, 2005

Software piracy losses rise in 2004

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Piracy continues to represent a major thorn in the side of software vendors, with over a third of software installed last year on the world’s computers having been pirated and resulting losses mounting to $33 billion, according to a study released Wednesday.

Source: MarketWatch
Written By Michael Paige

Last year, spending on commercial package computer software rose to over $59 billion, up from $51 billion in 2003, according to the study carried out by industry researcher IDC. Yet over $90 billion worth of software was actually installed on computers globally, rising from $80 billion a year earlier, the study revealed.

“Worldwide, one out of every three copies of software in use today has been obtained illegally,” said Robert Holleyman, chief executive of the Business Software Alliance trade group, which commissioned the study.

“These losses have a profound economic impact in countries around the world,” Holleyman said. “Every copy of software used without proper licensing costs tax revenue, jobs, and growth opportunities for burgeoning software markets.”

While the percentage of illegally installed software eased to 35% last year from 36% in the foregoing year, the growth of the PC market and a weaker U.S. dollar resulted in a rise in dollar losses. In 2003, software piracy resulted in losses of $29 billion, the Washington-based industry association said.

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