MANILA, Philippines - Software piracy remains rampant in the Philippines, despite the government's efforts. Seven out of 10 software in the Philippines is unlicensed, according to the 2011 Business Software Alliance (BSA) Global Software Piracy Study.
The Philippines' piracy rate even went up a percentage point to 70% in 2011, from 69% in the past 4 years. The Philippines ranks 12th in software piracy rate among Asia-Pacific countries.
The commercial value of unlicensed software also rose by 20% to $338 million in 2011, from about $278 million in 2010.
The BSA study noted that 57% of computer users around the world admit they have gotten pirated software.
"If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift — even rarely —authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a similar response: concerted public education and vigorous law enforcement," Roland Chan, BSA senior director for marketing in Asia Pacific, said.
Among the admitted software pirates in Asia-Pacific, 36% say they acquire software illegally "all of the time," "most of the time," or "occasionally." Only 27% say they "rarely" get pirated software.
The survey also showed that a software pirate in Asia-Pacific is predominantly male, with 32% between the ages of 18 and 24.
"Software piracy persists as a drain on the global economy, IT innovation and job creation... Governments must take steps to modernize their IP laws and expand enforcement efforts to ensure that those who pirate software face real consequences," BSA president and chief executive officer Robert Holleyman said.
The BSA study also noted that piracy rates in emerging markets are much higher than mature markets - 68% versus 24% on the average. Emerging markets also account for the bulk of the global increase in the commercial value of software theft.
While there is strong support for intellectual property rights and protection in principle, there is a lack of incentive for software pirates to change their behavior. Around 20 percent of frequent pirates in mature markets and 15 percent in emerging markets say the risk of getting caught is a reason not to pirate software.
BSA is a staunch supporter of the Philippine government's efforts to combat software piracy. The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team is composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Optical Media Board, the Philippine National Police and the Intellectual Property Office.