Curbing tech piracy can stimulate Asian economies: report

Curbing tech piracy can stimulate Asian economies: report

Singapore: Asia can generate billions of dollars in new business and taxes and create hundreds of thousands of jobs within a few years if it cracks down on software piracy, an industry study showed Wednesday.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and research group IDC said nearly 60% of all software programmes installed on personal computers in the region are pirated.

Reducing piracy by 10 percentage points in four years would produce almost $41 billion in economic activity, create 350,000 new jobs and generate nearly nine billion dollars in taxes, according to the joint study.

Achieving the same reduction in two years would boost the economic benefits for the region by 33%, a press statement said.

“Reducing software piracy is an opportunity to inject much-needed stimulus into Asia Pacific economies," said Roland Chan, BSA’s senior regional director for marketing.

“This study clearly shows that aggressively fighting software piracy today means greater economic benefits tomorrow -- for the region’s economy, not just the software industry."

Piracy is defined as installing legitimate software beyond the number of computers allowed by a company’s licence, or the outright usage of counterfeit software peddled by “criminal enterprises" at cut-rate prices.

The report looked at 13 economies that make up 98% of the region’s packaged software market -- Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The BSA is an industry group that works for copyright protection and counts among its members some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Symantec and Adobe.

IDC is a global research firm specialising in information technology and telecommunications.