Bootleg Programmes

SINGAPORE, May 11, 2010 (AFP) – Software piracy cost technology companies more than 50 billion dollars around the world last year, with Asia accounting for the largest share of losses, an industry report said Tuesday. Despite successes in the fight to protect intellectual property rights, on average 43 percent of software used in computers worldwide in 2009 was pirated, from 41 percent the year before, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) said.

Worldwide, piracy losses reached 51.4 billion dollars in 2009, of which 16.5 billion dollars was in the Asia-Pacific region, the annual report found.

The deluge of counterfeits was largely due to the growth of the personal computer market in Brazil, India and China, said the BSA, a global trade alliance with a regional office in Singapore.

However, last year’s losses worldwide were three percent down from 2008 while the rate of pirated software use fell in 54 economies, remained steady in 38 and rose in 19.

On average 59 percent of the 900 million pieces of software installed in the Asia-Pacific region last year were unlicensed, said Victor Lim, a vice president at IDC, which carried out the study with the software alliance.

Bangladesh had the h