Middle East leads world with software piracy drop
The Middle East has flown in the face of a global trend of increasing software piracy to post the highest fall in software of any world region, according to figures released by software industry association the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The region’s piracy rates decreased by six percent to reach 51 percent in 2001.
“We’ve seen real movement forwards in our region and, although the region’s piracy rates remain relatively high across the board,” said Jawad Al-Redha, regional director of BSA Middle East,
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) recorded the region’s lowest level of software piracy for the sixth consecutive year, with a reduction of three percent to reach 41 percent, thus achieving figures lower than those of western European countries such as France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Of all of the Arab Middle Eastern countries surveyed by the BSA in its Seventh Annual BSA Global Software Piracy Study, the highest reduction came from the Middle East’s largest software market, Saudi Arabia, where the rate of piracy fell by seven percent. The steep drop in piracy in the Kingdom actually makes it the second fastest-falling piracy rate in the world, behind Korea, which fell eight percent from 2000 to 2001. Saudi Arabia’s retail market for business software is valued in the report at $20 million in 2001.
Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon all posted relatively steep reductions of four percent, while the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain fell by three percent. In face of the worldwide trend for static or even increased piracy rates, these are significant drops. “We’ve seen markets outside the Middle East climb by several percentage points, whereas, if you look at our regional rates, we can see that we have not only seen a decrease, we’ve seen a decrease in the face of a strong global trend,” said Al-Redha.
In a recessive technology market, and with the decrease in software prices, the actual dollar losses incurred through software piracy have fallen by 6.7 percent globally to a worldwide Information Technology (IT) industry loss of $10.97 billion. The Middle East technology market saw a loss of retail revenue from pirated software of just under $138 million in 2001.
The BSA report is based on a research methodology developed by IPR (International Planning and Research), and combines extrapolations of demand and installed products with data on shipments provided by BSA member companies. The research is limited to business applications and does not cover home or recreational software products.
At 37 percent, Western Europe continued to be the region with the second lowest piracy rate, but it experienced the second highest dollar losses, totaling nearly $2.7 billion, accounting for 24 percent of the total global losses due to software piracy. The largest dollar losses occurred in Germany ($681 million), Italy ($468 million) and France ($527 million). The highest piracy rates were in Greece (64 percent), Spain (49 percent) and France (46 percent).
At 67 percent, Eastern Europe had the highest piracy rate of all the regions, with an increase in dollar losses from $404 million in 2000 to more than $434 million in 2001. Russia and the Ukraine/Other CIS countries continued to have the highest piracy rates in Eastern Europe, both at 87 percent. Poland, the third largest country in the region, reduced its piracy rate from 54 percent to 53 percent. The Czech Republic continued to have the lowest piracy rate in the region at 43 percent.
North America continued to be the region with the lowest piracy rate at 26 percent, up one percentage point from 25 percent in 2000. Over the past seven years, the region’s piracy rate has declined from 32 percent to 26 percent. Yet, North America accounted for the third highest piracy dollar losses, totaling $1.9 billion, down from $2.9 billion in 2000. In 2001, the piracy rate in the United States increased one percentage point to 25 percent.
Total losses due to software piracy in the United States were more than $1.8 billion, down from $2.6 billion in 2000. The decline from 2000 to 2001 is the result of several factors including the US dollar was strong in 2001 relative to local currencies and software prices as reported in US dollars continued to fall, advancing a trend of declining prices that has evolved over the last decade. In Canada, the piracy rate remained the same at 38 percent, but the dollar losses due to software theft was more than $189 million, down from $304 million in 2000.
Several countries in Asia/Pacific experienced piracy rate increases in 2001. The rates in Malaysia and India increased to 70 percent and the rate in the Philippines increased to 63 percent. Most other countries showed small rate changes: Indonesia’s rate decreased one percentage point from 89 percent to 88 percent. Japan’s rate remained at 37 percent, while Australia’s rate decreased from 33 percent to 27 percent. New Zealand continued to be the country with the lowest piracy rate in the region at 26 percent and Vietnam remained the country with the highest piracy rate in the world at 94 percent. The regional dollar losses increased from $4.7 billion in 2000 to $4.8 billion in 2001.
For the third consecutive year, Latin America continues to see a decline in its piracy rate, now at 57 percent. Software piracy in Latin America cost vendors nearly $865 million. The countries with the highest piracy rates were Nicaragua (78 percent), Bolivia (77 percent) and El Salvador and Guatemala (both at 73 percent). Brazil and Mexico, the two largest economies in the region, saw a decline in their piracy rates to 56 percent and 55 percent, respectively. The piracy rate in Argentina, the third largest economy in the region, increased to 62 percent.
The Business Software Alliance is an international organization representing leading software and e-commerce developers in 65 countries around the world. Established in 1988, BSA has offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. As the "voice" of the software industry, the BSA helps governments and consumers understand how software strengthens the economy, worker productivity and global development; and how its further expansion hinges on the successful fight against software piracy and Internet theft. The BSA’s efforts include educating computer users about software copyrights; advocating public policy that fosters innovation and expands trade opportunities; and fighting software piracy. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)