The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has called for stronger government action on software piracy, after it published an analyst study claiming that 27% of software used on UK PCs last year was illegal.
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The study was commissioned by the BSA from analyst IDC, and the 27% illegal software rate was the same for the third year running. The BSA said this demonstrated that more government action was needed to help stamp out software piracy.
“The current penalties are not a sufficient deterrent against the use of counterfeit or unlicensed software,” claimed the BSA, which is financed by major software companies.
“Despite continuing efforts by the software industry to educate and advise companies of the risks of illegal software, and raise awareness of its impact on the UK software industry as well as the wider economy, many UK businesses still flout software licensing regulations,” the BSA said.
The BSA and IDC said illegal UK software resulted in a loss to local and international software publishers of £878m in 2006.
“The UK remains in a situation where almost one out of every three software installations is illegal,” said Sarah Coombes, director for legal affairs at BSA EMEA.
“Despite attempts to educate businesses, and increased efforts to enforce the licensing laws by the government and the industry, it is clear that more must be done,” she said.
Across Western Europe, the BSA said the piracy rate decreased by one percentage point last year to 34%.
Piracy rates in Central and Eastern Europe also dropped by one point to 68%, but due to faster economic growth, estimated losses increased massively from £453m to £2.15bn.
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