The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has called on the government to do more to penalise those that flout intellectual property rights after its annual research showed the UK software piracy rate has not dropped.
The latest figures from IDC show that there are still a quarter of people using unlicensed software with the UK piracy rate stuck for another year at 27%, depriving the industry of £1.2bn revenue.
With the Hargreaves Report, which has been tasked by the government to review IP, expected to report its recommendations in a couple of weeks the hope from the BSA is that it will call for stricter penalties for those that try to avoid paying for their software.
Julian Swan, EMEA director of compliance marketing at the BSA, said that clearly the failure to get the piracy rate down from 27% was a dissapointment but it needed more help from the government and more channel customer education if things were going to change.
"We have to go harder on this," but he added that the channel had a major part to play in educating users because "there is a lot of ignorance about what is legal and illegal".
"The industry has to do this all together and its not just the BSA. Software vendors and resellers as well have to play their part as software piracy hurts them. We all have a part to play," he added.
"Over one in four pieces of software is unlicensed and that is just not good enough," he said.
The software piracy rates have hovered at the 27 or 26% rate for the last four years despite the various efforts of the BSA, Federation Against Software Theft and high profile anti-piracy campaigns from vendors including Microsoft.