From 2009 to 2010, installations of unlicensed software on personal computers (PC) in Pakistan remained constant at 84%, putting Pakistan in 15th place among the countries with the highest piracy rates.
However, the commercial value of this illegal software amounted to $217 million, its highest level since 2006.
This was said in an annual report published by Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international association representing the global software industry.
The study is conducted in cooperation with market research firm, IDC, and incorporates 182 discrete data inputs for 116 countries and regions around the world.
This year, it also includes a new dimension: a public-opinion survey of PC users on key social attitudes and behaviors related to software piracy, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs. The opinion survey found strong support for intellectual property rights, with seven in 10 respondents expressing support for paying inventors for their creations to promote more technology advances. Strikingly, support for intellectual property rights was strongest in markets with high piracy rates.
The usage of pirated software in Pakistan is blocking the progress of the country and preventing it from benefitting from a huge investment opportunity in software development arena. Curtailing the piracy would encourage entrepreneurship in IT sectors, resulting in higher software exports as well as a greater market share in the business process outsourcing industry.
Emphasizing on the need for close coordination between the government and private sector to avoid software piracy Mr. Kamal Ahmed, Country General Manager, Microsoft, Pakistan said
“Software piracy has been an impediment in the way of foreign investment in the sector. Although the government has taken some initiatives to raise awareness in regard with elimination of software piracy and the protection of intellectual property, but clearly it is not enough.
Perhaps, the government and private sector need to enhance level of cooperation on this particular front so that a shared vision may be achieved and to educate the people about the benefits of using genuine software.”
Globally, the value of software theft grew to a record $59 billion which is nearly double that when the study began in 2003. Half of the 116 geographies studied in 2010 had piracy rates of 62 percent or higher, with the global average piracy rate at 42 percent. Emerging economies have become a driving force behind PC software piracy.
Piracy rates in the developing world are 2.5 times higher than those in the developed world, and the commercial value of pirated software ($31.9 billion) accounts for more than half of the world total. The most cited advantages of licensed software globally are access to technical assistance (88 percent) and protection from hackers and malware (81percent).
Among the common ways people to engage in piracy is to buy a single copy of software and install it on multiple computers. Strong majorities of PC users around the world believe intellectual property rights and protections produce tangible economic benefits: 59 percent globally say IP rights benefit local economies, while 61 percent globally say IP rights create jobs.
“Today’s study shows that while piracy continues to threaten the global economy, people clearly understand and appreciate the value of intellectual property, especially its role in driving economic growth,” said Robert Holleyman, BSA president and CEO. “Software theft continues to stifle IT innovation, job creation, and economic growth around the world. This report clearly shows the importance of educating businesses, government officials, and end users about the risks of software theft — and what they can do to stop it.”
You can download the complete report by clicking this link