Combat piracy, protect
initiatives have reduced software piracy in India, but as Indians move up
the value chain and start developing software solutions for global clients,
it becomes imperative that we project a cleaner image in the global
marketplace, writes MOHAN BABU
interesting news item caught my attention last week. The news, reported by
Dailynews on Yahoo was titled, “Overland Park bust allegedly yields pirated
videos”. The story highlighted the rampant prevalence of piracy of Indian
movies that regularly takes place in the US. It also made me sit-up and
think about the significance of protection of intellectual property rights
As per the
news story, two (Indian) businesses were raided, and supposedly, thousands
of bootlegged video recordings were found. “The music and movie recordings
on tape and DVD are from famous Indian and Pakistani artistes. One film was
just released in theatres in India last Friday,” the article went on to say.
Even though America has some of the most stringent anti-piracy and
intellectual property laws, along with rigid enforcement, native movies slip
through the cracks.
the piracy of videos is the prevalence of software piracy. American
companies spend billions of dollars trying to protect their valuable
intellectual properties. Business Software Alliance (BSA) is the foremost
organisation dedicated to promoting legal software. The organisation states:
“Software is one of the most valuable technologies of the Information Age,
running everything from PCs to the Internet. Unfortunately, because software
is so valuable, and because computers make it easy to create an exact copy
of a program in seconds, software piracy is widespread. From individual
computer users to professionals who deal wholesale in stolen software,
piracy exists in homes, schools, businesses and government.
pirates not only steal from the companies that make the software, but with
less money for research and development of new software, all users are hurt.
That’s why all software piracy—even one copy you make for a friend—is
illegal.” The statistics on piracy are staggering. Although seeing a bit of
a decline in the past decade, it is still prevalent.
piracy is a global phenomenon with most of the under-developed countries
openly flouting international piracy laws. Interestingly, India does not
figure very high on the list of international culprits when it comes to
software piracy. In India, during 1999, software piracy amounted to about 60
percent. This is still low compared to about 91 percent in China and 89
percent in Russia during that time. Even though the percentage of piracy is
high in different parts of the world, the regions with the highest dollar
losses in 1999 were North America and Western Europe.
largest economies concentrated in these regions, along with the highest
concentration of PC and software markets, even a low rate of piracy
translates to a very high amount. In 1999, Asia’s dollar losses were $2.8
billion whereas in the US alone the loss due to piracy was $3.2 billion.
initiative to thwart piracy has helped reduce software piracy in India from
a high of about 89 percent in 1993 to 60 percent during 1999. As Indians
move up the value chain and start developing software solutions for global
clients, it becomes imperative that we project a “cleaner” image in the
global marketplace. It will be difficult to police the misuse of Indian
software and systems in the global marketplace, if we do not eat our own