Pirates of the Middle East

Business Software Alliance (BSA), the global organisation that has been combating software piracy in the Middle East for over a decade, on the eve of World Intellectual Property (IP) day, said the region is getting closer to the goal of becoming 70% piracy-free by 2009.

  • E-Mail
By  Maddy Reddy Published  April 25, 2004

Business Software Alliance (BSA), the global organisation that has been combating software piracy in the Middle East for over a decade, said the region is getting closer to the goal of becoming 70% piracy-free in the next five years on the eve of World intellectual property (IP) day on April 26. “The efforts of BSA and government authorities in the region have had a remarkable impact on software piracy in the last decade. 10 years ago, software piracy stood at over 95% in the Middle East; today, it has dropped to less than 50%,” said Al Redha. “This is reflected in the higher ratio of branded PCs in the market, compared to assembled PCs. Ten years ago, branded PCs comprised just 30% of the market share, while today they are 55%. The share of assembled PCs had plummeted to 45%, against 70% a decade ago. As branded PCs use original software, this indicates that the use of original software has increased significantly,” explains Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman of BSA Middle East. Al Redha said that the IPR protection initiatives launched by BSA in association with government entities were yielding concrete results, leading to a dramatic fall in piracy levels in some parts of the region, though a few states were still slow and somewhat indifferent to piracy issues, due to lack of aggression in the enforcement of IPR laws. The overall picture, he said, was encouraging, and there were signs that the trade as well as public were realising the dangers and disadvantages of indulging in piracy. An IDC (International Data Corporation) study shows that reducing software piracy can help jumpstart the world’s stagnant economies by creating new jobs and business opportunities that generate spending and new tax revenues. The report estimates that the global IT sector currently employs more than nine million people, raises more than US$700 billion in taxes each year and contributes nearly a trillion dollars annually. Countries with the low piracy rates enjoy larger IT sectors accompanied by a greater tax base, more jobs and economic benefits. According to IDC's estimates, the global IT sector projected to grow by 34% till 2006, could grow by 49%, if there is a 10-point piracy reduction. This could mean the creation of 1.5 million jobs, US$64 billion in tax revenues and US$4 billion in global economic growth, which can materialise, if piracy is minimised or curtailed says BSA.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code