REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 1, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. officials today applauded the establishment of a strong U.S. government policy regarding software piracy, calling it a significant step toward ensuring the health of the software industry and the economic benefits the industry generates for the nation.
The policy, in the form of an executive order, was signed by President Bill Clinton and announced today by Vice President Al Gore at the Mission Critical Computing Conference in Palm Springs, Calif. The new Computer Software Piracy Executive Order requires all federal agencies and recipients of federal funds to ensure they are using legally licensed software. The U.S. government is the world’s largest purchaser of information technology, spending approximately $20 billion per year on computer-related services and equipment.
According to the Business Software Alliance, software piracy in 1997 alone cost Americans an estimated 130,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in local, state and federal tax revenue. More than 600,000 people in the United States are directly employed in the software industry.
“By reducing piracy, this step will help the software industry continue to contribute to economic growth throughout the country. We are pleased with the announcement and hope this executive order will serve as a catalyst for discussion and similar commitments worldwide,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel, international law and corporate affairs.