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Appeared on: Friday, September 17, 2004
Piracy and the IT Industry: What's the Impact?

The U.S. government's Trade Representative has called digital piracy a "global scourge." While music and movie piracy is in the news almost daily, in reality the losses to the IT industry actually dwarf those in the entertainment industry.

In 2003, the value of pirated software for PCs alone was $29 billion, and piracy only seems to be on the rise.

The 2003 median PC software piracy rate in 87 countries studied during IDC's recent research of global piracy was over 60%. The research on the impact of software piracy indicates that the effects extend beyond the software industry ? to the channels, services firms, and even end users. What's more, local governments lose out on tax revenue, creation of skilled jobs, and development of a strong local industry.

In this telebriefing, Chief Research Officer John Gantz will review IDC's findings on software piracy and the impact it has on the industry and the economy, provide some research-based information on what end users feel could alleviate the problem, and discuss the larger context of digital piracy in general. For the first part of the briefing, he will rely on results from two year-long studies on piracy rates and the impact of piracy. For the latter part of the discussion, Gantz will draw from his new book, Pirates of the Digital Millennium, co-authored with Jack B. Rochester and being published this month by Financial Times Prentice Hall.

The session should be of interest to anyone in the IT, content, or entertainment industries who is interested on the impact of digital piracy on the industry and the economy. Piracy is creating profound changes in the way software is delivered and licensed, on the music and soon movie business, on intellectual property law, and on global trade. It's worth keeping up with.


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