Manufacturing companies in Brazil, Russia, India and China that choose to use illegal software steal more than $1.5 billion from their in-market competitors that choose to play fair by using genuine software.
Microsoft today released the findings of the first-ever study that examines the financial impact using illegal software has on the competitive landscape within developing economies.
In support of the inaugural Play Fair Day, a global initiative to emphasize the importance of utilizing legitimate software, this commissioned study quantifiably proves the harm software piracy has on businesses that choose to play fair.
As part of this study to examine the broader economic impacts of software piracy, analysts from Keystone Strategy evaluated the illegitimate competitive advantage of companies that use illegal software.
In China, manufacturers that “play fair” with legal, licensed software lose more than $863 million to companies using pirated software. This translates to more than $1 billion each year that cannot be reinvested into the economy in the form of 500 new manufacturing plants; or 65,000 new machines; or 200,000 additional employees in China alone.
“It is a well-established fact that economic growth is thwarted by piracy. Pirated software does not create jobs for students, developers or IT professionals. This fact alone should be reason enough for the economies to play fair, regardless of the other inherent dangers pirated software brings to a business,” said Kamal Ahmed, Country General Manager, Microsoft Pakistan.
“The total commercial value of unlicensed software reached US $ 59 billion in 2010, which translates to loss of economic activities and jobs. What’s more, when companies use pirated software, it hinders job opportunities and stifles innovation. It is also just plain wrong.”
According to Microsoft’s research, unfairness from piracy creates a staggering $3 billion of competitive disadvantage per year across manufacturers in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. In specific countries, Microsoft was able to determine exactly how much pirated software costs competing manufacturers in Brazil ($278 million), Russia ($92 million), India ($344 million) and China ($863 million).
“Software piracy is widely prevalent in Pakistan and immensely damaging the commercial and intellectual growth of software development in the country. I became a victim of software piracy when I was sold a pirated copy for the price of original software. This menace cannot be curbed without the concerted efforts of citizens and public institutions. I feel that a much effective response can be achieved if other entities like Microsoft and the Intellectual Property Organization can also put their efforts in curbing the menace of piracy,” said, Mr. Husain Qazi, a victim of software piracy working as PR Manager at FWO.
Microsoft released these findings as part of Play Fair Day, which aims to educate businesses, consumers and governments to play by the rules, learn about the benefits of using legal software and build respect for intellectual property. Microsoft is holding activities in more than 50 countries around the world in order to educate businesses, governments and consumers that the decision to utilize fake software is one that is not only dangerous to personal information, but dangerous to the economic landscape as well.