Reducing software piracy by 10 percentage points in four years would inject a whopping USD 142 billion into the global economy, create nearly 500,000 new jobs and generate close to USD 32 billion in new tax revenues for governments, a new study has revealed.
The study - The Economic Benefits of Reducing Software Piracy - carried out by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the leading market research firm IDC, says that achieving the 10-point reduction in piracy in the first two years of the same four-year period could boost the economic benefits another 36 per cent.
US, the world’s largest software market, could add more than 25,000 jobs, nearly USD 38 billion in new economic activity and USD 6.1 billion in tax revenues by reducing piracy 10 points in four years.
It could boost the new spending and tax revenues another 38 per cent by achieving the piracy reduction in half the time, the report said.
The BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China) could add nearly 328,000 new jobs, almost USD 29 billion in new spending and more than USD 6 billion in new taxes by reducing piracy 10 points in four years.
“They could boost the spending and taxes another 32 per cent if they achieve the reduction in two years,” the study said.
European Union countries stand to add more than 61,000 new jobs, nearly USD 43 billion in new consumer and business spending, and close to USD 13 billion in new tax revenues by reducing piracy 10 points in four years.
And they could boost the new spending and extra tax revenues another 37 per cent if they achieve the piracy reduction in two years, it noted.
Currently, more than four out of ten software programmes installed on personal computers around the world are pirated.
Most of this unauthorised software use occurs in otherwise legal businesses that buy too few software licenses for their employees’ computers.
In other cases, criminal enterprises sell counterfeit copies of software programs at cut-rate prices, it said.
Cutting the prevalence of this theft sends ripples of stimulus through the economy, the new study shows, by generating new spending on related information technology (IT) services and distribution.
That spending, in turn, creates jobs and delivers new tax revenues - and the faster the reduction, the greater these returns, the report said.