Software industry losses - due to piracy - increased by $1 Million from $19 Million in 2006 to $20 Million in 2007, which is partly a result of the growing PC penetration in the Kingdom.
These are among the main findings of the fifth annual global PC software piracy study released today by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an international association representing the global software industry. The study covers 108 countries and was conducted independently by IDC, the information technology (IT) industry’s leading global market research and forecasting firm.
Mamoun Talhouni, Director General/ Department of the National Library said, “Lowering software piracy brings substantial economic benefits, and will support His Majesty's efforts in attracting and increasing investment in Jordan - it adds highly skilled jobs to the labor force, supports the creation of new companies and funds public services through the increase of revenues from taxes. Because most of the benefits accrue to services and channel firms, most of the benefits from lowering piracy stay within the country. For an economy the size of Jordan, even a small increment of IT-related employment would have an impact.”
Aly Harakeh, BSA Spokesperson, Eastern Mediterranean region commends the National Library's efforts in decreasing piracy and their effective implementation of the Law, “Although Jordan is making slow progress in reducing piracy but this progress is steady and continuous.” He added, “BSA is cooperating with the Jordanian authorities and the private sector to accelerate the development of a safe and legal ICT ecosystem in Jordan.”
Software piracy affects much more than just industry revenues. A BSA study released in January found that reducing software piracy could generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and billions of dollars in economic growth, while increasing tax revenues to support local programs and services.
Harakeh explained that in Jordan an additional 10-point reduction in PC software piracy would deliver 436 new job opportunities, $14 million in tax revenues and $47 million in economic growth in Jordan over the next five years.
In 2007, Jordan, a country of 6 million people, spent $250 million on information technology (IT), which included computers, peripherals, network equipment, packaged software and IT services. That spending accounted for 1.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), supported 1,250 IT companies with 11,150 IT industry employees, and helped generate $98 million in IT-related taxes.
Among the 108 countries studied, PC software piracy dropped in sixty-four countries, and increased in only eleven. However, because the worldwide PC market grew fastest in high-piracy countries, the worldwide piracy rate increased by three percentage points to 38% in 2007.
In the Middle East & Africa region (MEA), the highest-piracy countries were Zimbabwe at 91 percent, Yemen at 89 percent and Libya and Mauritius at 88 percent. Among the lowest-piracy countries were South Africa at 34 percent and the UAE at 35 percent. As for Jordan, in 2007 the country’s piracy rate was at 60 percent compared to 61 percent in 2006.
The BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study covers piracy of all packaged software that runs on personal computers, including desktops, laptops, and ultra-portables. The study does not include other types of software such as server- or mainframe-based software. IDC used proprietary statistics for software and hardware shipments and enlisted IDC analysts in more than sixty countries to confirm software piracy trends.