As unbelievable as the above headline looks, a report by BSA-IDC Global says that software piracy in India has dropped to 68 per cent. Still, the drop is only one percentage point from 69 per cent in the previous year. The monetary damage caused to companies such as Adobe, Microsoft and Autodesk comes up to a whopping $2.7 billion. So how does this compare to the world numbers? We’re among the 57 countries where piracy has declined, however little the drop may be. About 16 countries of the 110 studied showed a rise in piracy numbers. The rise in these few countries accounted for the global piracy to go up to 41 per cent and worldwide losses to go up to $53 billion.
Piracy not only has an effect on the companies that sell software, but also on the health of the economy at large. For instance, a report by IDC last year shows that reducing software piracy by ten percentage points over a four year period could generate an additional 43,000 new jobs, lead to $3.1 billion in economic growth, and $200 million in tax revenues for the country. The decline in piracy in thebe due to change in consumer attitude or regulatory crackdown since these numbers are only relating to personal computer software piracy. A possible reason could be the availability of SaaS cloud services. And because OEMs are increasingly giving bundled software with PCs for which costs are recovered from the consumer at source. Whatever may be the reason, software companies still need to come up with an innovative way to battle the problem.
Perhaps taking a page from the music industry could be a possible solution. The music industry is now becoming more and more open to giving away free content, but is setting up viable and alternate revenue models at the same time.