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Strong IP protections are central to instilling a culture of innovation, which can spur economic growth, create jobs and increase revenue for the broader industry and government organizations.
According to a study commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce in 2011, the global economic and social impacts of counterfeiting and piracy will reach $1.7 trillion by 2015 and put 2.5 million legitimate jobs at risk each year.
Conversely, the economic rewards for countries that strengthen IP protection and reduce piracy are substantial. According to an economic study by the Business Software Alliance, a reduction in the worldwide piracy rate by 10 percentage points in four years would create $142 billion in new economic activity and add nearly 500,000 new high-tech jobs around the world.
“Software piracy and counterfeiting tend to thrive in places with weak IP protection, and this has an enormous, and negative impact on the global economy,” said David Finn, associate general counsel for Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft.
Not only is strong IP protection economically beneficial, but consumers are demanding that the industry and governments take a stand against non-genuine software.
In a 2010 Microsoft-commissioned consumer perception survey of 38,000 consumers in 20 countries, nearly three-quarters of consumers wanted the industry and government to do more to protect them from risks associated with non-genuine software, including identity theft and virus attacks.
By a three-to-one margin, consumers agreed that non-genuine software is not as safe to use as genuine software, and respondents named data loss and identity theft among their top concerns.
“Consumers and legitimate businesses are asking us to take action and reduce the risks that non-genuine software exposes them to, and we are 100 percent committed to helping them,” said Finn.