Software piracy remains a critical issue in Hong Kong even though the percentage of pirated software installed on Hong Kong PCs fell to 45 per cent during 2010.
This represents a fall of eight percentage points since 2006, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) 2010 Global Software Piracy Study, which evaluates the state of software piracy around the world.
Winnie Yeung, chair of Hong Kong and Macau Committee, BSA, said software piracy in Hong Kong has seen the biggest drop in the Asia-Pacific region since 2006 due to a coherent blend of consumer education, strong IPR policies and vigorous law enforcement.
The commercial value of unlicensed software deployed on personal computers in Hong Kong reached US$227 million in 2010 and according to the BSA, this indicates that software piracy remains a critical issue in this city.
In 2010, the commercial value of stolen software in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole totalled US$18.7 billion, according to the report.
Emerging economies and piracy
The BSA study also shows that emerging economies have become a driving force behind PC software piracy and piracy rates in the developing world are 2.5 times higher than those in the developed world.
One of the most common ways people engage in piracy is to buy a single copy of software and install it on multiple computers.
Despite the prevalence of piracy, people the world over recognise that using pirated software is better as it is more secure and reliable. But many users are not sure how to acquire genuine software from different developers.
"Today's study shows that while piracy continues to threaten the global economy, people clearly understand and appreciate the value of intellectual property, especially its role in driving economic growth," said Robert Holleyman, BSA president and CEO. "Software theft continues to stifle IT innovation, job creation, and economic growth around the world. This report clearly shows the importance of educating businesses, government officials, and end-users about the risks of software theft - and what they can do to stop it."
"In the current economic climate, promoting IPR protection has become an even more important issue as it allows businesses to compete fairly and 'incentivises' the local software industry to continue to innovate and succeed," said Tarun Sawney, senior director of BSA Asia Pacific. "We know that the Hong Kong SAR government is committed to fostering respect for intellectual property rights, and we look forward to continuing to work closely together to strengthen IPR protections even further."
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