UK's software piracy rate is static

Twenty-seven percent of PC software used in the UK is illegal, according to the Business Software Alliance. That is exactly the same figure that it revealed last year, so it now wants stiffer penalties from the Government in the hope of cutting the rate.

The BSA released its 2005 Global Piracy Study yesterday, showing the piracy rate has not moved from 2004. It reckons the losses to software publishers in the UK amount to more than $1.8 billion, the fifth highest total in the world, according the study which was conducted by IDC.

"It’s very disappointing to see UK piracy levels have remained constant," said Siobhan Carroll, Regional Manager, Northern Europe, BSA. “Lack of respect for IP in the form of software piracy is having a hugely detrimental effect on the UK’s IT industry, and we hope the government continues to drive awareness around IP and pushes for the introduction of tougher enforcement measures."

The BSA says that education on intellectual property and piracy issues is needed, particularly among businesses.

Julie Strawson, BSA UK Chair and European Marketing Director, Monotype Imaging, said: "In the UK we have a software industry to be proud of, and, contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the big names that are affected. Many smaller IT companies are being held back from innovation due to such a high level of pirated software.”

The BSA reports that worldwide losses from software piracy amounted to $34 billion in 2005, an increase of $1.6 billion over the previous year. The highest piracy rates are found in Vietnam (90%), Zimbabwe (90%), Indonesia (87%), while those with the lowest levels are the US (21%), New Zealand (23%) and Austria (26%).