The independent global research, conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), also found that reductions in the domestic software piracy rate could jumpstart growth in the information technology (IT) sector. With the largest IT sector in the world behind North America's, the EU has a $311 billion IT industry that supports 365,000 companies, employs 2.5 million IT workers and contributes nearly $268 billion a year in tax revenues. While IDC currently projects the EU's IT sector will grow 30 percent through 2009, a 10-point reduction in software piracy could increase that growth to 38 percent by 2009.
The BSA-commissioned study, available online at http://www.bsa.org/idcstudy, is the only study of its kind, assessing the IT sector's economic impact in 70 countries worldwide and the benefits that could accrue to countries that reduce software piracy and promote the protection of intellectual property (IP).
Beth Scott, Vice President, EMEA for BSA commented: "Clearly, the IT sector - and the software industry in particular - is a powerful driver of economic benefits in the EU and around the world. But the current contribution represents a fraction of the potential economic gains which could be felt in and beyond the software industry. More needs to be done to protect the value of intellectual property in terms of education, legislation and enforcement if the European Union wants to realize the potential benefits the IT industry can bring."
The study suggests that countries that wish to enjoy the economic benefits take the following five steps:
ˇ Update national copyright laws to implement World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) obligations;
ˇ Create strong enforcement mechanisms, as required by the World Trade Organization, including tough anti-piracy laws;
ˇ Dedicate government resources to the problem, including national IP enforcement units, cross-border cooperation, and more training for law enforcement;
ˇ Improve public education and awareness; and
ˇ Lead by example by requiring the public sector to use only legitimate software.
The European Union took a first step when, in April 2004, it adopted the civil "Enforcement Directive" designed to provide tools and guidelines for Member States to use in protecting and supporting their creative industries through copyright laws. With the deadline for implementation approaching (April 2006), BSA believes the economic benefits outlined in this study can motivate EU governments to use the opportunity to assess their copyright protection systems and legislation, consult with industry, and take steps to strengthen their copyright and intellectual property laws.
John Gantz, Chief Research Officer at IDC commented: "With this report, we are able to further quantify the positive benefits that countries across the world can experience as a result of stronger intellectual property protection and greater education and awareness. It provides the world with a comprehensive snapshot of what we have known all along: reducing software piracy delivers real results."
"Software has transformed the productivity and competitiveness of every company in every market sector around the world, and made the IT industry a key engine for economic growth," Beth Scott said. "EU Member States have a unique opportunity, with the deadline for implementation of the Enforcement Directive approaching, to reassess their intellectual property regimes and put in place strong laws that enable them to reap the economic benefits delivered by the software sector. This study shows that even a modest and achievable 10-point reduction in software piracy could deliver enormous value."
The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Avid, Bentley Systems, Borland, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, CNC Software/Mastercam, Dell, Entrust, HP, IBM, Intel, Internet Security Systems, Macromedia, McAfee, Microsoft, PTC, RSA Security, SAP, SolidWorks, Sybase, Symantec, Synopsys, The MathWorks, and UGS.
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology and telecommunications industries. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. Over 775 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. For more than 40 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives.