Piracy makes losses of $ 659 million


By Ana Carolina Saito, Gazeta Mercantil (Notebook C - Page 1) - 19/05/2005

São Paulo, May 19, 2005 - The software piracy rate in Brazil rose from 61% in 2003 to 64% last year, according to the global study by IDC, released yesterday by the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES) and Business Software Alliance (BSA). In 2004, the country had one of the lowest rates in Latin America, just behind Colombia, with 55% of computer programs sold illegally. "This is the first time the index has risen in Brazil after years of decline," said BSA legal advisor André de Almeida.

Despite presenting one of the lowest rates in the region and due to the dimensions of the national market, Brazil remains at the top of the ranking of software piracy losses among Latin American countries. It occupies the tenth position in the world list. Last year, the country lost US $ 659 million, higher than the 2003 figure of US $ 519 million, when it was ranked 11th in the world. The high numbers are due to the larger base of machines in the country, compared to other countries in the region. In Chile, whose piracy rate is identical (64%), the loss was US $ 87 million in 2004, for example. Mexico ranks second (US $ 407 million), followed by Argentina (US $ 108 million).

In 2004, the world spent $ 59 billion on packaged PC software, but recorded more than $ 90 billion on installed programs. The global loss to the illegal market reached US $ 33 billion in 2004, higher than the US $ 29 billion of the previous year. The United States tops the list, with losses of $ 6,645 billion. “In 2004, for every three software installed, one was a pirate. It is the world average, ”said Almeida.

In 2004, 35% of the programs installed on the world's computers were illegal, a drop of one percentage point in relation to 2003. Latin America had the highest piracy rate among the regions, at 66%, compared to 63% in 2003. rates fell in 37 countries, but rose in 34. In 16 countries, the rates remained at the same level. Between the first survey, conducted in 1994 and 2002, the piracy rate fell from 77% to 55% in Brazil. Since the 2003 study, the methodology has changed and the research has now covered, in addition to software for companies, operating systems and programs with games. In 2004, IDC conducted more than 7 interviews in 23 countries. "There is no single cause for the increase in piracy in Brazil," said Almeida, citing issues related to legislation and cultural aspects, as factors for growth.

For the president of ABES, Jorge Sukarie, the gray PC market is one of the main reasons for the increase in piracy. According to the IDC study, the increase in computer purchases in Brazil was more than 30 million in 2004, while software revenue increased by less than half of that total.

PC Connected

Sukarie believes that the federal government's digital inclusion program, PC Conectado, should drive business in the sector, but criticizes the restrictions on the machine's configuration. “We are neutral when it comes to free software. But projects with a single configuration, like those in Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, ended up generating an increase in piracy ”. For Almeida, the current format of the project will encourage the illegal market. “If there is no option, the user will search. He wants to buy popular programs ”.