BSA, Nasscom launch initiative to curb software piracy

By agencies   |   Wednesday, 27 April 2005, 19:30 IST
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NEW DELHI:Business Software Alliance (BSA) and Nasscom have joined hands to curb software piracy in India that has resulted in the loss of $367 million in 2004. "Awareness plays a very important role in curbing piracy. Along with BSA, we will set up a toll-free hotline number and we will reward any one reporting under-licensing and or use of illegal software at workplace," Kiran Karnik, President of Nasscom, said. According to Nasscom, the domestic IT software and services market was around Rs 1,600 crore in 2003-04. Karnik said that the Nasscom-BSA alliance would work closely with software resellers to educate end customers and corporate about the perils of piracy. Speaking on the occasion, Jeffrey Hardee, VP and Regional Director, Asia-Pacific BSA, said, "The launch of anti-piracy hotline number 1600110033 validates BSA's vision to help all businesses address licensing issues and maximize their software resources." In addition to the hotline, BSA has also launched its Web site, which will help end users obtain information and download software asset management tools on a free-to-use trial basis. The Nasscom has also urged the Government to set up special courts for software piracy cases in India where piracy levels exceed the global average of 36 percent. “According to a study, the piracy level in India is close to 73 percent, which is quite high. The worldwide average is about 36 percent and in case of countries such as the U.S. and Canada, it is at 23 percent,” Karnik said. He said the need for such courts was driven by the need of specialized knowledge in intellectual property (IP) and patent infringement cases and said such courts could also hear cases related to fake drugs. According to the BSA, India ranks 20 in global software piracy rankings, with a rate of 73 percent while the Asia Pacific average is 53 percent. China ranks second with a rate of 92 percent and annual losses of $3,823 million while Pakistan ranks nine with 83 percent piracy rate.