The software industry and trade officials who negotiate on software matters at times face incredulity when we encourage countries to step up enforcement of intellectual property rights. Some skeptical officials wonder (even if they don’t say aloud), “What’s in it for us?” They assume — falsely — that enforcing intellectual property rights boosts the profits of multinational firms that create software products but provides no significant benefit to a local economy where the software is being sold.
A new study from BSA and IDC shows that couldn’t be further from the truth. Reducing software theft actually sends ripples of stimulus through local economies. The new study finds that a 10-percentage-point drop in worldwide software piracy over four years would inject more than $142 billion into the global economy, create nearly 500,000 jobs and generate $32 billion in tax revenues. What’s more, 82 percent of those benefits would accrue inside the countries that achieve the piracy reductions.