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Results of the fifth annual benchmark survey on global software piracy were released recently, highlighting the serious impact of copyright infringement to the software industry. Piracy losses exceeded $12 billion worldwide in 1999 and topped $59 billion during the past five years. The survey, conducted by an independent research firm, was commissioned by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). The 1999 software piracy estimates indicate that more than one in every three-business software applications in use during 1999 was pirated. Piracy losses for the US and Canada lead every other region of the world at $3.6 billion, or 26 percent of the total. The continuing problem means lost jobs, wages, tax revenues, and a potential barrier to success for software start-ups around the globe. "Software piracy continues unabated, robbing the industry of thousands of jobs, billions in wages, tax revenues and critical investments in new technologies," according to Robert Holleyman, president and CEO, Business Software Alliance. "No industry would or should tolerate such a high rate of theft. The explosive growth of the Internet is making piracy even more prevalent since pirated copies of software can be distributed and downloaded quickly and globally, with the click of a mouse. Faced with this threat, BSA has stepped up its education and enforcement efforts, while also asking governments worldwide to show leadership in tackling this very serious, growing problem," concluded Holleyman. "Too many US and Canadian businesses are getting a free ride on pirated software," says Ken Wasch, president of the Software & Information Industry Association. "Businesses continue to communicate, conduct commerce and manage their operations with pirated software, stealing revenue from software publishers....
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