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Microsoft and Adobe biggest losers



Piracy costs the big software outfits $13.5 billion


Microsoft and Adobe Systems are the biggest losers to pirates and counterfeiters in Europe last year. The pair are calling for higher damage payments deter pirates, who often benefit because of insufficient fines.

Warren Weertman, manager of legal affairs for Washington-based Business Software Alliance said that Lump sum damages would act more as a deterrent than having two actuaries fight it out in a costly court case. Weertman claimed that in the EU more than 35 per cent of software deployed on personal computers was pirated in the US this figure is only 20 per cent. He complained to the Times of India that most EU countries do not have statutory damages and right holders are forced to prove actual loss.

Last year, France lost $2.6 billion in pirated software, while Germany lost $2.1 billion, Italy $1.9 billion and the UK $1.8 billion. Bulgaria has the highest rate of software piracy in 2010 at 65 per cent, while Luxembourg had the lowest at 20 per cent. The problem is that Bulgaria is the poorest country in the EU and faced with a choice of paying Microsoft or Adobe a year's worth of income to buy the software they are just buying it from a bloke in the Sofia market.

With the high costs, particularly of Adobe products, there is little choice for anyone but the multinationals to run real goods.

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