RP software piracy losses up in ‘08
MANILA, Philippines–The level of software piracy in the Philippines remains at 69 percent in 2008 but revenue losses increased to $202 million, according to a recent global report by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Revenue losses from software piracy in 2007 were at $147 million, BSA said.
The losses in 2008 were largely due to the increase in number of new computers sold in the country, as well as falling exchange rate of the dollar against the Philippine peso, it said.
In its global software piracy report for 2008, BSA reported losses of $53 billion versus $48 billion in 2007.
In a teleconference with local media, BSA Asia Pacific Vice President and Regional Director Jeffrey Hardee said the majority of software piracy cases in the Philippines were from business organizations that have failed to comply with anti-piracy and intellectual property laws after they were found using unlicensed software.
He said the proliferation of pirated software installed in “white boxes” or non-branded computers have also contributed to the increase in revenue losses in the Philippines.
Hardee noted that downloading of pirated software from the Internet was still less than one percent of the total software piracy rate in the Philippines. But this is expected to grow faster as cheaper broadband services become available.
The BSA executive, however, pointed out that the growing usage of laptops and “netbook” computers was helping drive down piracy.
Many of these devices now come with pre-installed with operating systems, thus removing the need to install illegal versions of applications, he said.
Hardee said that netbook and laptop shipments in the Philippines were 16 percent of the total PC shipments in 2008.
BSA Philippines Consultant Bienvenido Marquez III said government raids against suspected users of pirated software and educational efforts led by both BSA and the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) have proven effective. But the growth of the PC business was overtaken by piracy among users, he said.
He stressed the need for the Philippine government to strengthen implementation of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet Treaties, which the Philippines is a signatory.
“There should be more efforts to educate the public about the effects of piracy not just in the software industry but also in the economy of the country,” Marquez said.
The 2008 global piracy report, conducted by the BSA and research firm International Data Corporation, showed that piracy in the Asia Pacific region, where the Philippines is included, grew 61 percent in 2008.
In contrast, other regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, showed a decrease in software piracy rates.
Still, global piracy rate for 2008 is pegged at 41 percent from 38 percent in 2007. This is due to the increase in PC shipments in countries with software piracy rates, BSA said.