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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        13  May 2011

Education to reduce software piracy

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As Indonesia struggles to bring its problem with software piracy under control, industry players say the problem is not pricing but awareness.

According to a representative from the Business Software Alliance, people in Indonesia are not fully aware of how to find genuine software or how to use official licenses.

“Although we have seen increased efforts by the Indonesian government and the information technology industry to protect software copyrights, we continue to face huge challenges in trying to drive piracy rates down,” Donny Sheyoputra, a representative for BSA Indonesia, said on Thursday during the release of a piracy study by the BSA and global research firm IDC.

“Reducing the price of genuine software does not guarantee reduced piracy rates. The most important things are to educate and increase law enforcement.”

Software piracy rates in Indonesia rose 1 percentage point to 87 percent last year, according to the study, when commercial value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers in the country reached US$1.32 billion.

On the bright side, the BSA said increases in piracy were not expected to continue in the long term as businesses become more aware of the need to have genuine software.

Although software piracy is punishable by up to five years in prison, Donny said enforcement of the law is inconsistent.

“There was one big IT company that recently got a six-month prison term, while there were two smaller companies that owned less than 10 computers that got two years,” he said.

Victor Lim, vice president for IDC’s Asia/Pacific consulting operations said under-licensing, or installing one official copy of a program on numerous computers, was the biggest contributor to software piracy.

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