Illegal software use in Australia cost software companies $446 million last year, as the nation’s overall rate of piracy fell by one percentage point to 31 percent, according to the US-based Business Software Alliance.
The BSA’s annual global PC software piracy study ranks Australia 14th in the world in terms of illegal software use, unchanged from last year’s position.
“A one-point reduction is not significant enough to bring us within reach of our economic peers whose rates are up to 10 points lower than Australia,”
said Jim Macnamara, chairman of the BSA’s Australian associate outfit, BSAA.
“Much more needs to be done to tackle software piracy in Australia, and we are hopeful that the changes in copyright law will continue to have some positive effect as business users realise the risks of the criminal penalties.”
Global losses attributable to software piracy amounted to $34 billion, the BSA reported, with 35 percent of packaged software installed on personal computers around the world last year claimed to be illegal.
A surprise finding was that China, often perceived as a hotbed of software piracy, dropped four points between 2004 and 2005. Drops were also noted in Russia (4 points), the Ukraine (6 points) and Morocco (6 points.)
The country with the highest piracy rate was Vietnam, where a mighty 90 percent of software is claimed to be illegally copied. The world’s best copyright citizen was the US, with a 21 percent piracy rate.