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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

10% piracy reduction generates 24,000 jobs - BSA

Recent study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) has shown that approximated 10 per cent reduction was seen in the level of piracy on the continent, just as this has given leverage to creation of 24,000 jobs in 2007.

The study was released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a group advancing free and open world trade for legitimate business software by advocating strong intellectual property protection.

According to the BSA Nigeria spokesman, Mr. Akeem Aponmade, the study also revealed that reducing the Personal Computer (PC) software piracy rate in the entire African region by 10 percentage points would have a multiplier effect.

This, he said, increases economic benefits and has the potential to generate 24,000 additional jobs, which has attracted estimated $600 million in tax revenues and $3.4 billion in spending in the local Information Technology (IT) sector over the next four years in Africa.

Mr. Aponmade, also commended the efforts being made so far by the law enforcement agencies notably the Nigeria Copyrights Commission (NCC) and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), stressing that more work needs to be done, especially in the private sector.

He defined software as unique in its ability to drive value throughout other sectors and thus, policy makers should find a compelling case for taking steps to reduce software piracy in order to reap the economic benefits of a strong national software and IT sector.

“It is clear that reducing software piracy delivers real results that help real people with real challenges,” he said.

BSA is the foremost organization promoting a safe and legal digital world and serves as the voice of the world’s commercial software industry fostering technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce.

A press statement from BSA Nigeria, quoted its African spokesman, Alastair de Wet, noted that when countries take steps to reduce software piracy, “everyone stands to benefit.”

He pointed out that with more and better job opportunities, a stronger, more secure business environment, and greater economic contributions from the already robust IT sector; reducing software piracy delivers tangible benefits for governments and local economies.

Equally, IDC findings indicated that for every $1 spent on legitimate packaged software, an additional $1.25 is spent on related services such as installing the software, training personnel, and providing maintenance services.

BSA emphasised that most of these benefits accrue to locally-based software services and channel firms, meaning the greatest proportion of the economic benefits from lowering software piracy stay within the country.

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