The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a trade group representing a number of the world's largest software makers. It is funded through membership dues based on member company's software revenues, and through settlements from companies it successfully brings action against.
Its principal activity is trying to stop copyright infringement of software produced by its members - an activity it claims to cost the software industry over 11 billion dollars each year.
Some facts from the report:
- Losses from the illegal software = US$ 34 billion (2005), an increase of US$ 1.6 billion from 2004.
- The four countries with the biggest percentage declines in piracy were China, where 86 percent of all software sold is pirated, down 4 percentage points from the 90 percent of 2004; Russia, down 4 percentage points to a piracy rate of 83 percent; Ukraine, down 6 percentage points to a piracy rate of 85 percent, and Morocco, down 4 percentage points to a piracy rate of 68 percent.
- By contrast, the United States had the lowest piracy rate in the world last year at 21 percent. However, that amounted to $6.9 billion in losses to software manufacturers, the highest of any country because the U.S. market for computer software is so large.
- The lost sales in China totaled $3.9 billion, putting it in second place in dollar losses followed by France with losses put at $3.2 billion and a 47 percent piracy rate.
- One out of every three copies of PC software were obtained illegally last year.
- The countries with the highest piracy rates, according to the study, were Vietnam, 90 percent; Zimbabwe, 90 percent, Indonesia, 87 percent, and China and Pakistan, both at 86 percent.
- The countries with the lowest piracy rates were the United States, 21 percent; New Zealand, 23 percent; Austria, 26 percent, and Finland, 26 percent.
- 60% of the software installed on PCs in Malaysia in 2005 was illegal.
- The software piracy rate declined by three percentage points in the last two years
- BSA attributed the reduction to the Ops Tulen antipiracy campaign which is held in conjunction with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
- The campaign, which involves raids and software audits, began in 2002 and aims to cut down the use of unlicensed software by Malaysian businesses.
- The BSA said that its software auditing programme was well received by Malaysian companies, with 1,493 businesses performing self-audits to check if their software is genuine.
- Companies that perform the audit are given a grace period of immunity from raids by the BSA and other authorities in order to “clean up their act” if they have pirated software in their offices.
- However, despite the small drop in piracy levels, the ringgit value of losses increased from US$134mil (RM509mil) in 2004 to US$149mil (RM566mil).