The European software industry is losing $3.5 billion a year from piracy ? a loss which is starting to impact on the long-term growth of developers.
According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the loss will hit software vendors particularly hard, as growth is set to slump in the European information and telecoms industries.
The BSA cited a report from the European Union Council of Ministers which stated that growth in European software sales is one-fifth that of the US and Japanese markets.
Derek Gray, European MD of Adobe Systems and a BSA representative, said: ?Piracy is an endemic problem that not only spells long-term trouble for developers, but could also inhibit Europe?s ability to compete internationally and retard the growth of our IT industries and economies.?
The BSA is set to roll out an advertising campaign, Web site and a hotline in Ireland to help crack down on piracy. At the same time, it is setting up a cross-industry piracy coalition to fight theft in the video and music industries.
Mike Edwards, director of operations of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, said: ?CD piracy is the most serious threat to the entertainment and data industries. Co-operation between the industries is no longer merely desirable, it is imperative.?
The European figures compared with losses of $4 billion in Asia/Pacific and $1 billion in Latin America.
Last year, the BSA carried out 76 raids and 809 actions against users. The BSA was founded in 1988 and members include Autodesk, Lotus, SCO, Novell and Symantec.
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