Unlicensed software costs SA businesses R5.7m
Unlicensed software cost SA businesses over R5.7 million in 2012.
This is according to figures from the Business Software Alliance (BSA). In 2011, the figure stood at R4.9 million.
The BSA says companies throughout SA continue to act negligently when it comes to software licensing. In fact, using pirated software has cost one offending business R265 142, according to the body. This included damages paid to BSA member companies, as well as the cost of acquiring legal software.
Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the use of pirated software cost businesses more than R140 million, BSA adds.
According to the BSA, companies operating in the engineering, graphics and advertising sectors are the top offenders, making the most use of unlicensed software in SA.
The estimated cost of engineering companies using unlicensed software stands at over R1.5 million, followed by the graphics and advertising industries at just over R700 000 and almost R650 000 respectively.
"The results confirm that the use of unlicensed software continues to be a major challenge and many organisations are failing to capitalise on the benefits that a reduction in software piracy could bring," Drummond Simpson, chairman of the BSA SA committee, says.
Simpson highlights that while the use of unlicensed software may not be intentional, the digital era is booming. When compared with 2011, 2012 saw the BSA settle with four times as many companies for using pirated software.
"We all need to make use of technology innovation and software advances, but education is the key to ensuring that companies understand that there are far reaching implications of using pirated or unlicensed software," says Simpson.
"Not only does it affect the economy of the country but it also makes the company vulnerable to viruses and other security risks as well as financial and reputational damage if caught."
Piracy hampers technology companies' ability to innovate and create jobs, and in turn diminishes government revenues, he adds
According to the BSA, reducing piracy by 10 points would create $142 billion in new economic activity globally, while adding nearly 500 000 new high-tech jobs and generating $32 billion in new tax revenues for governments.
The organisation encourages reports of suspected software piracy, whether it involves businesses using unlicensed software, or individuals and organisations selling pirated software over the Internet.