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Asia hotbed of IT piracy despite economic growth, says watchdog

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Singapore / AFP

More than 60 percent of all computer software installed in the Asia-Pacific in 2015 was unlicensed, the worst of any region, despite growing economies and anti-piracy efforts, an industry watchdog said on Wednesday.
The Software Alliance — which includes giants like Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Oracle and Adobe — said in a report that the unlicensed software in Asia had a value of $19.1 billion last year. Piracy rates were most rampant in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia at more than 80 percent. The global piracy average was 39 percent.
While the worldwide piracy rate decreased by four percentage points from 2013, Asia saw only a one percentage point decline to 61 percent over the two-year period, said the report, which did not cover mobile devices.
The report resulted from a survey of 22,000 computer users and 2,000 information technology decision-makers and includes business, operating system, gaming and security software.
The group’s Asia-Pacific senior director Tarun Sawney called for more action to address the problem of unlicensed software, particularly for key sectors like banking.
“Whilst there’s still been improvement from two years ago on the use of unlicensed software, the rate is still too high and certainly in emerging economies, a lot of which are in Asia-Pacific, the problem still persists,” he told a press conference.
The report cited a “disconnect” between businesses’ concern about cyber-security and their attitude to unlicensed software.
It found that the worldwide rate for what it called “critical” sectors such as banking, insurance and securities industries was 25 percent.
No figure was given for Asia in those sectors.

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