Software publishers lost $13.1 billion in sales last year due to pirated versions of software, a study released today by two software trade groups concludes.
SPA president Ken Wasch said the 1995 figures showed that antipiracy efforts are beginning to show results, particularly in the United States. "Through the study, we have a better understanding of where our work must be focused," he said. "There is never any level of software piracy that can or should be considered acceptable."
But the SPA's antipiracy campaign has kicked up criticism, particularly among Internet service providers that object to being held liable for piracy by their customers. Today, a group of about 45 ISPs issued a letter to the SPA objecting to the association's tactics (see related story, Online coalition opposes antipiracy campaign).
The annual survey was, for the first time, conducted by an independent group, International Planning & Research. Previously, the two software groups had done their own survey. IPR, based in Westchester, Pennsylvania, estimated losses for both 1994 and 1995 based on sales and market data for 80 countries for 27 business applications.
The BSA said last month that it has recovered more than $18 million in the last four years in software copyright infringement settlements in the United States.
Overall, Eastern Europe had the highest overall piracy rates with an average of 83 percent. North America had the lowest regional piracy rate at 27 percent.
But all regions saw a modest improvement in their overall piracy rates compared to 1994. The reports estimates by region are as follows:
The highest rates for individual nations were Vietnam (99 percent), El Salvador (97 percent), China (96 percent), Oman (96 percent), and Russia (94 percent). The lowest piracy rates were in the United States (26 percent), Australia (35 percent), the United Kingdom (38 percent), New Zealand (40 percent), and Germany (42 percent).
Nation-by-nation figures are available on the SPA's Web site.