More than half the software used in the Asian-Pacific region is pirated, costing the region billions of dollars, says a study released Thursday.
The Business Software Alliance found in its survey that 53 percent of the software used in the region in 2004 was illegally downloaded. The figure was the same as the previous year.
Worldwide the figure was 35 percent, down slightly from 36 percent in 2003, the association of software makers said. The group commissioned research firm International Data Corp. to carry out the study.
Asia's IT industry is worth $195 billion, the group said, projecting that if the piracy rate could be cut to 43 percent by 2009, $135 billion could be pumped into Asian economies and $14 billion paid to states in tax revenues.
The region's worst offender was Vietnam, with a piracy rate of 92 percent, followed by China at 90 percent. Indonesia was third at 87 percent, and Thailand in fourth place with 79 percent of its software illegally downloaded, accor5ding to UPI.