Kuala Lumpur: The use of pirated software in computers in most Asian countries is declining but more enforcement is needed to make a significant impact on the problem, industry officials said Monday.
The Business Software Alliance (BSA), which represents computer software and hardware firms worldwide, said figures showing the use of illegal software had registered a decline in countries such as China.
“The piracy rates have been decreasing but at a very slow rate. We just need to step up to try and make sure that it’s a more significant drop,” BSA’s director of marketing for Asia, Roland Chan said.
Chan said the improvement is due to government agencies conducting more raids on companies using illicit software, and greater consumer awareness. “Government in Asia for the last few years have begun to realise the importance of cultivating the creative IT industry,” Chan said.
“There’s been a concerted effort to address software piracy, both through educational campaigns and enforcement campaigns,” he said. In China,which has one of the highest rates of pirated software use in Asia -- 86% of software in computers in 2005 was illegal, down from 92 % in 2003, he said.
During the same period, illegal software use in Malaysia decreased marginally to 60% from 63%, which still represented a loss of $149 million (Rs605 crore)to the Malaysian economy in 2005, he said. Other Asian countries such as Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and India also showed some improvement over the period.
Taiwan, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia showed little change. Increases in illegal use were registered in Hong Kong -- with 54% of software illegal in computers in 2005, up from 52% in 2003 -- and Pakistan, up to 86% from 83% over the same period.