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Software Industry Looking for Meaningful Improvement on Piracy After Latest Trade Talks with China, Says BSA

Thursday, December 16, 2010

China promises progress on legal software use by government and state-owned enterprises

Washington, DC -- China committed to allocate sufficient budgets and implement a software asset management system to ensure that its government agencies use legal software in this week’s ministerial sessions of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT). US and Chinese officials will work over the next 30 days to develop a sustainable way of verifying that China is complying with these commitments. China also announced its intent to promote legal software use in enterprises through a pilot project involving 30 major, state-owned companies.

The Business Software Alliance welcomed the developments, but said objective sales and export figures will serve as the ultimate indication China is successfully reducing its unacceptably high rate of software piracy. This will require a sustained effort, not just a short-term campaign.

“We will know China has made real progress in reducing piracy only when software companies start seeing substantial increases in sales,” said Business Software Alliance President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “At the end of the day, that is what we are looking for.”

“The commercial value of pirated PC software in China has nearly doubled from $3.9 billion in 2005 to $7.6 billion last year,” Holleyman said. “That is why we have called for trade negotiations to start focusing less on pledges and more on tangible results. We will evaluate today’s announcements based on whether or not we see a rapid reversal of the commercial losses that have been dramatically escalating in recent years.”

“We will keep an open mind as to whether the commitments China has made this week will produce a positive outcome,” said Holleyman. “But we won’t know for sure if there is any real achievement until we can objectively measure and verify the results. And to represent true progress, the results must be permanent, not fleeting; we should, for example, see an increase in multi-year license agreements, not just one-time sales.”

Nearly four out of five software applications installed on personal computers in China last year were pirated (79 percent), according to the BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study.

About BSA

The Business Software Alliance ( is the world’s foremost advocate for the software industry, working in 80 countries to expand software markets and create conditions for innovation and growth. Governments and industry partners look to BSA for thoughtful approaches to key policy and legal issues, recognizing that software plays a critical role in driving economic and social progress in all nations. BSA’s member companies invest billions of dollars a year in local economies, good jobs, and next-generation solutions that will help people around the world be more productive, connected, and secure. BSA members include Adobe, Altium, Apple, Autodesk, AVEVA, AVG, Bentley Systems, CA Technologies, Cadence, Cisco Systems, CNC/Mastercam, Corel, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Microsoft, Minitab, PTC, Progress Software, Quark, Quest Software, Rosetta Stone, Siemens, Sybase, Symantec, Synopsys, and The MathWorks.

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