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Software piracy in Singapore falls to 35%

05:55 AM May 12, 2010 SINGAPORE

The PC software piracy rate here is at its lowest level in seven years.

According to the Seventh Annual Global Software Piracy Study, Singapore also continues to have the fourth lowest PC software piracy rate in Asia-Pacific.

The study found that Singapore's PC software piracy rate fell to 35 per cent last year, from 36 per cent in 2008. Despite these gains, dollar losses from use of unlicensed software increased by more than 20 per cent to almost US$200 million ($273.1 million) last year.

The findings from the study were released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international association representing the global software industry.

BSA vice-president and regional director, Asia-Pacific, Mr Jeffery Hardee, said Singapore continues to make steady progress against software piracy.

However, he said the Government is in a position to reduce software piracy even further. With sustained educational and enforcement efforts, there is no reason why Singapore cannot bring its piracy rate down to levels similar to those of Australia, New Zealand and Japan, he added.

Such countries have software piracy rates of between 21 and 25 per cent.

"Doing so would not only bolster the local IT sector but also strengthen Singapore's position as a global technology and innovation hub, which would attract more investments and bring more jobs into the country," Mr Hardee said.

According to the study, PC software piracy declined in 14 Asia-Pacific markets, stayed the same in four economies and increased in only one. Among the economies with the highest piracy rates were Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan.

However, due to fast growing, higher piracy markets such as China, India and Brazil increasing their share of the overall software market, the overall global software piracy rate rose to 43 per cent last year, up 2 percentage points from 2008.

According to a 2008 study, lowering the software piracy rate in the region by 10 points over four years could create 435,000 jobs, generate over US$40 billion in economic growth, and more than US$5 billion in tax revenues.

First published May 12, 2010

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