Software piracy rate in Middle East declines in 2005
Business Software Alliance (BSA), the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world, has announced that software piracy levels in the Middle East have declined in 2005, with the UAE leading the way with the lowest piracy rate in the region.
Piracy rate in the Middle East dropped one percentage point last year to 57 per cent, while the global piracy rate has remained unchanged at 35 per cent, according to an independent study released by BSA. The study was conducted by IDC (International Data Corporation), the IT industry’s leading global market research and forecasting firm.
“The study shows that the Middle East and Africa region has made substantial progress in tackling the problem of software piracy, with piracy rates dropping in as many as 19 of the 26 countries in the region. Government support to anti-piracy campaigns has been crucial to making this possible,” said Jawad Al Redha, Co-Chairman of BSA Middle East. “While it is impressive that piracy rate in the Middle East has declined in 2005 even as worldwide figures have remained unchanged, it should not however divert our focus away from the many challenges still to be overcome to bring regional piracy levels closer to the global average.”
The UAE has posted the lowest piracy rate in the region for the 10th consecutive year, and is the only Middle East entry to the list of 20 nations with the lowest piracy rates. In fact, the UAE’s piracy level of 34 per cent is lower than that of several European countries, such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland, and is comparable to the piracy rates of the United Kingdom (27 per cent), the Netherlands (30 per cent) and Australia (31 per cent).
“The UAE has reiterated its position as a model for other countries in the region to emulate, having maintained a significantly low 34 per cent rate. The UAE’s achievement is all the more creditable when set against the backdrop of widespread take-up of IT solutions and an influx of new PC users in the country,” Al Redha added.
Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman showed considerable decline in piracy, while in other Middle Eastern countries the piracy level remained relatively stable. Among GCC countries, Qatar’s piracy rate dropped from 62 per cent in 2004 to 60 per cent in 2005, while that of Saudi Arabia remained unchanged at 52 per cent. Kuwait also witnessed a two percentage point reduction in piracy, from 68 per cent to 66 per cent, whereas in Oman, piracy dropped from 64 per cent to 63 per cent. The total loss due to software piracy in the Middle East and Africa region stood at USD 1.6 billion.
A significant aspect of the findings of the BSA study is that 51 of the 97 countries covered in the study witnessed a drop in piracy in 2005, despite PC unit shipments growing by 16 per cent in the year.
According to the study, 35 per cent of the packaged software installed on personal computers worldwide in 2005 was illegal, amounting to over USD 34 billion in global losses due to software piracy. However, positive movement in a number of markets indicates education and enforcement efforts are paying off in emerging economies such as Brazil, China, Russia and India and in Central/Eastern Europe and the Middle East & Africa.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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