Software Piracy Rate Could Have Been Worse without Gov't Campaign

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MANILA, Philippines - Had it not been for the enhanced government efforts at fighting software piracy, the significant increase in PC shipments into the country should have worsened the country's rate rather instead of keeping it steady at 69 percent over the past four years.This was the conclusion of Atty. Bien Marquez III, consultant of the Business Software Alliance (BSA)for the Philippines, as the alliance presented the 2010 Global Software Piracy Study it conducted with International Data Corp. (IDC), which evaluates the state of software piracy around the world."If we look at the status quo in piracy ratings in the past four years, we could say that our efforts went for naught but when we read the report it shows a significant increase in PC shipments to $214 million to $278 million in 2010 for the Philippines so it is a good thing our piracy rates did not increase," Marquez said.The BSA study showed that losses due to such piracy rose from $141.7 million in 2007 to $278 million in 2010.The BSA alone conducted as many as 10 raids last year on establishments using pirated software. This is on top of the raids conducted by the various government agencies involved in the implementation of intellectual property rights protection.He cited the government assistance, particularly the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and for doing its share in the efforts to fight software piracy in the country.A memorandum of agreement with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is being finalized to require the banks and financial institutions to use licensed business software only with the implementation of a software asset management program starting with the BSP.They have also made a presentation before the Bureau of Internal Revenue on the impact on the country's revenue generation with the curtailment in software piracy in the country.For instance, Marquez said that if the piracy rate is reduced to 59 percent from the current 69 percent in four years it would mean additional revenues of $436 million or P19.2 billion. This would also mean additional tax collection of $39 million or P1.9 billion.If the piracy rate could be reduced by 10 percent in two years, this would mean an increase in tax gains by 33 percent.BSA Asia-Pacific senior director for marketing Roland Chan also noted that the study showed a 16 percent increase in shipments of PCs to emerging markets. …