TechnologyAccounting SoftwareQuarter of UK businesses use illegal software

Quarter of UK businesses use illegal software

Figures from the Business Software Alliance and IDC show a quarter of business software used in the UK is counterfeit - compared to over 50% in Spain and close to 100% in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Link: One-in-five companies undertake anti-piracy audit

The report also showed that Northern European countries were on average less likely to use pirated software.

‘Ten years ago Italy was a one disc country,’ said Deanna Slocum, committee representative for BSA.

‘You’d lose the market the minute you sold product. As for Eastern Europe you couldn’t buy Western commercial software a decade ago so it’s not surprising the problem’s so bad there.’

The report claims that cutting UK piracy rates by another 10% could bring in another £2.5bn in tax revenues and add 40,000 jobs in the IT sector over four years.

The report said the countries with the highest rates of software piracy have the lowest rates of IT tax revenue. ‘There is a correlation between government regulation and piracy,’ said Richard Robinson, IDC’s UK vice president.

‘Meanwhile companies could use the revenue gained by cutting piracy into research and development, increasing support services and building up the channel. The vast majority of these jobs would be local.’

IDC found that software pirates were becoming increasingly sophisticated in their techniques and final product, and that peer-to-peer networks were adding to the problems facing software vendors.

The report covered countries making up 98% of the IT market and used figures from the last quarter of 2002.

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