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Texas software piracy rises

Software piracy has risen in Texas despite an overall decline across the country, according to a new study by the Washington, D.C.-based Business Software Alliance.

The Business Software Alliance educates consumers on software management and copyright protection, cyber security, trade, e-commerce and other Internet-related issues.

Incidences of software piracy were up in Texas to 18.6 percent in 2002, compared with 16.2 percent for 2001. Those thefts represent a $457.1 million loss in retail sales and an $82.6 million loss in state taxes.

Although the U.S. piracy rate dropped two points from 25 percent in 2001 to 23 percent in 2002, more than 105,000 software production jobs still were lost.

The Business Software Alliance also announced more than $3.1 million in settlements with 37 organizations as part of its third annual Sweeps campaign, which is intended to raise awareness and educate businesses about the importance of using licensed software.

The states of Louisiana, Maine, Idaho and Washington were among those with the most improved software piracy rates with Lousiana's drop in software piracy from 44.6 percent in 2001 to 30.6 percent for 2002.

The five states with the lowest piracy rates in 2002 are Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and New York.

The Business Software Alliance represents the commercial software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. The organization encourages U.S. companies to establish software management policies and educate employees.

First published August 7, 2003

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