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Stomping piracy mandates IT hirings, increases jobs and revenues study concludes; everyone wins except the pirates

Piracy is stronger than ever in the digital world today.  Movies, books, and music -- none are safe from the reach of pirates. The media typically reports chiefly on the harmful effects of these crackdowns, but what good might they yield?  This was the angle taken by a recent study by IDC IT Markets, which investigated the possible beneficial financial impact of increased efforts to cut software piracy worldwide.

Software piracy, which Romania says is akin the foundation of its statehood, accounts for billions in lost revenue worldwide.  China has a piracy rate of 82%, while Vietnam has a piracy rate of a whopping 88%.  Reducing this piracy by only 10% would generate $40 billion USD in economic growth and $5 billion USD in tax revenue for the region, according to the IT firm helping with the study.

IDC analyst
Marcel Warmerdam states, "In a country with a high piracy rate like Vietnam, a local software entrepreneur is not going to develop software because it will be stolen. That means high piracy countries don't develop a local software sector and that's bad because software helps companies become more competitive."

The IDC study also covered 42 other countries.  If piracy was cut in these countries by 10% over the next four years, the study estimated that it would generate 600,000 high-tech jobs in the U.S. and abroad.  It would also generate
$141 billion USD in new revenue and provide $24 billion USD in new global tax revenue.

Countries could hire IT experts to help fight piracy, which would both strengthen their economy and foster a high-tech industry, the study states.  It points out that if China cut its piracy by 10%, the additional IT personnel needed would allow it to surpass the U.S. for the largest IT workforce.  It points out that if Russia did the same, it could surpass India in IT force size, possibly bringing relief to the economic-stricken nation.

On the home front, a percent reduction would lead to
32,000 new jobs and add an additional $41 billion USD to our economy.

The study does note that most of the jobs created from fighting piracy will be overseas.  Since Asia has by far the highest piracy rates, it would have the largest job influx with
435,000 new jobs stemming from the theoretical reduction.

While the study is certainly in the realm of theory, it provides an interesting perspective on the benefits of cutting piracy in a time when public sentiment remains very sympathetic towards pirates.

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Assumptions used in study
By MandrakeQ on 1/24/2008 11:34:19 AM , Rating: 2
Does this study assume that people who stop buying pirated software will buy legitimate copies? If that is the case, it is a questionable assumption to make since I don't think people in developing nations can afford U.S. software prices (though some companies like MS are trying to change this).

RE: Assumptions used in study
By Martimus on 1/24/2008 12:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
The study assumes that 10% of the people who pirate would buy legitimate copies, which is a reasonable ammount.

RE: Assumptions used in study
By badmoodguy on 1/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: Assumptions used in study
By murphyslabrat on 1/24/2008 1:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
Often, the pirating market will make its money by selling cheap items on e-commerce sites, such as Amazon and E-Bay.

It was done with PS3's, but one possibility is for these ubiquitous services to require verification of possession. Currently, this is something that is difficult, at best, and would require people/sufficient automation to compare a series of photos (that can be doctored) and product-numbers to the manufacturer/publisher's specification.

2-d/multi-color barcodes could stand to gain a considerable amount of use in this department. These methods of product identification, potentially, provide enough permutations to be a viable way of identifying an individual product, as opposed to an SKU number. As a result, the potential seller has only to offer a detailed picture of the barcode, and it could be easily and automatically verified with the publisher. While not fool-proof (a vendor could sell multiple products under the same code), it would make inappropriate conduct much harder to detect.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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