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Group: Piracy Costs Software Industry $29 Billion

Pirated software accounted for more than a third of the software installed on computers worldwide in 2003, representing a loss of $29 billion, according to a study released Wednesday by a software industry group.

The study was done by researchers at IDC for the Business Software Alliance, which includes Microsoft, Apple, Borland, Sybase, Symantec and Veritas. IDC researchers looked at business applications, operating systems, consumer software and local market software. IDC used its own worldwide data for software and hardware shipments and conducted more than 5,600 interviews in 15 countries.

Of the $80 billion worth of software installed worldwide in 2003, $51 billion worth was paid for and 36 percent was pirated, according to the study.

The United States was both the best and the worst when it came to piracy, according to the study. By percentage, the United States led all countries with a low piracy rate of 22 percent. But due to the size of the U.S. software market compared to all other countries, dollar losses in the United States were the highest of any country at $6.5 billion.

The worst offenders by piracy rate were China (92 percent, $3.8 billion), Vietnam (92 percent, $41 million) and Ukraine (91 percent, $92 million). Authors of the BSA report expressed deep concern about piracy rates in the Asia/Pacific (53 percent, $7.5 billion), a fast growth market where the group's members must make more money in the future if they want to offset much slower growth in North America and Western Europe.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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