Jobs and revenue from piracy rate reduction

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19 December 2005 | 0

A reduction in the Irish software piracy rate, currently 38%, by 10 percentage points would result in a $541 million (EUR* 451 million) boost to the economy. That is one of the key findings from a survey conducted by the Business Software Alliance and research firm IDC.

The survey also predicts that the 10 percentage point reduction would add 1,800 new jobs, allowing the sector to grow to $4 billion (EUR*3.3 billion) by 2009, while tax revenues would benefit to the tune of $277 million (EUR*231 million).

Outside of the direct benefits of a reduction in the internal software piracy rate, Ireland as an exporter of software stands to benefit from a reduction in the rates of piracy elsewhere. The survey indicates that world wide piracy rate of 35%, if cut percent by the 10 percentage points over a four year period could generate an additional 2.4 million jobs, $400 billion (EUR*333 billion) in economic growth and $67 billion (EUR*55.8 billion) in tax revenues worldwide.

“Clearly, the IT sector – and the software industry in particular – is a powerful driver of economic benefits in the EU and around the world.  Ireland however as a leading software exporter, stands to gain economically more than any other country from a reduction in the current levels of software piracy. More needs to be done to protect the value of intellectual property in terms of education, legislation and enforcement if Ireland  wants to realise the potential benefits the IT industry can bring”, said Julian McMenamin, Chairperson of the BSA in Ireland.

The reduction in the piracy rate would, according to the survey, also contribute significantly to IT sector growth beyond the expected 6.7%.

The study makes five recommendations I an effort to reduce piracy rates with a view to realising the benefits predicted by the study. The recommendations cover suggest updating national copyright laws to implement World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) obligations; creating strong enforcement mechanisms, as required by the World Trade Organisation, including tough anti-piracy laws; dedicating government resources to the problem, including national IP enforcement units, cross-border cooperation, and more training for law enforcement; improving public education and awareness and leading by example by requiring public sector to use only legitimate software.

 “With this report, we are able to further quantify the positive benefits that countries across the world can experience as a result of stronger intellectual property protection and greater education and awareness. It provides the world with a comprehensive snapshot of what we have known all along: reducing software piracy delivers real results”, said John Gantz, chief research officer, IDC.

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