Survey finds PC software piracy in Vietnam costs $395 mln

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Vietnam recorded a PC software piracy rate of 81 percent in 2011, costing the big business interests that control the computer industry US$395 million in commercial value, according to an international study released in Hanoi on Thursday.

The rate decreased by two percent compared to the previous year, and the value was down by four percent, the US-based Business Software Alliance, which conducted the study in 33 countries, said in a press release issued that day.

A report on VnExpress Thursday quoted Tarun Sawney, BSA's Senior Director of Anti-piracy, Asia Pacific, as saying that the rate was up to 92 percent in 2003, putting Vietnam atop the world in terms of PC software piracy. But with the current rate, the country now ranks 22nd.

"The positive results shown by the decrease in the software piracy rate is testament of the great efforts expended by the government," he said.

However, Vietnam still needs to do much more work to even the rate to the regional or world averages of 60 percent and 42 percent respectively, according to Sawney.

"I am confident that Vietnam is on the right track," he said in the press release.

Globally, the pirate rate hovered at 42 percent with bootlegged software's total commercial value estimated to be $63.4 billion, as compared to $58.8 billion in 2010, according to the study.

Thirty-six percent of the admitted software pirates surveyed by the study in the Asia-Pacific region said they acquired software illegally "all of the time," "most of the time" or "occasionally," while 27 percent said they "rarely" did so, the press release quoted the study as saying.

"Software piracy persists as a drain on the global economy, IT innovation and job software," BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman said in the release. "Governments must take steps to modernize their IP laws and expand enforcement efforts to ensure that those who pirate software face real consequences."

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Conducted by BSA in cooperation with the International Data Corporation and Ipsos Public Affairs, the ninth annual study collected 182 discrete data inputs and assessed PC and software trends in 116 markets.

It also conducted a survey among 15,000 computer users in 33 countries like Japan and Canada that together constitute 82 percent of the global PC market.

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