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BSA warns UK channel costs of piracy could be higher than IDC global figure

Simon Quicke

Following the publication of research indicating that resellers are losing out every time pirate software is sold the Business Software Alliance has indicated it believes the situation in the UK could be worse than the global figures suggest.

Microsoft revealed that the results of a white paper commissioned by IDC which revealed for every $1 that the vendor lost as a result of piracy the channel lost $5.50, the vast majority of that is by missing out on services revenue with a portion also being a result of having to drop costs in order to compete.

The white paper concluded that without piracy those selling services would gain $4.37 from faster delivery and sales cycles and the natural market expansion of having more legally licensed customers.

The rest of the lost money, $1.13 is lost as goods have to be sold at a lower cost in order to compete against companies without worries about training and development.

But the figures in the report were global and Najeeb Khan, Vice-Chair of the BSA UK member committee, said that the cost of a transaction in the UK was higher than some other countries.

"That number [$5.50] is very conservative and it could be higher in the UK. The channel works harder to get revenue and each transation has a greater value in money terms," he said.

He added that it would use the figures as part of its ongoing campaign to highlight the costs of piracy.

"The money that was lost is legitimate sales that people would have paid taxes on that would have had a direct benefit for the country and the exchequer," he added.

Michala Wardell, UK head of anti-piracy at Microsoft, said that it would be looking into getting specific figures for the UK but wanted to use the IDC research to show the channel that counterfeit goods had a wide impact.

"We need the channel to work with us and we will help get that $5.50 back for them," she said.

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