Microsoft Announces That Piracy Cost Oregon More Than 1,900 Jobs

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 2, 1998 — Microsoft Corp.’s Portland office today released statistics revealing that in 1997 software piracy caused the loss of an estimated 1,947 jobs and more than $185 million in combined lost wages, tax revenues and retail sales, according to International Planning & Research Corp. (IPR) of Redmond.

The information was released as part of an educational effort by Microsoft to raise awareness that software piracy hurts more than just the software industry. The data underscores the adverse effect that software piracy – the theft of software through illegal copying of genuine programs or through counterfeiting and distribution of imitation products – has on local businesses and economies. IPR used data from a 1997 international piracy study published by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software Publishers Association (SPA) along with additional data and analysis of piracy in Oregon.

According to IPR, in 1997 the 30.8 percent software piracy rate in Oregon cost the state’s workers approximately 1,947 jobs, which translates to $62 million in wage and salary losses. In addition, the data shows that Oregon lost close to $7 million in state tax revenues that could have instead contributed to local and state improvement projects. Oregon’s piracy rate is higher than the national rate of 27 percent.

“The software industry in Oregon is making a significant contribution to our local economy,”
said Larry Wade, executive director of the Software Association of Oregon.
“We all need to pitch in and fight the crime of piracy to maintain and strengthen the software industry’s contribution to our communities. We hope that education will help reduce the piracy rate in Oregon.”

Over the next several months, Microsoft will release statistics on the negative impacts of software piracy for every state in the United States.

The software industry is a significant driver of the current economic prosperity in the United States, accounting for the creation of more than 2 million jobs, $102.8 billion in software and software-related services, and payment of $7.2 billion in taxes. However, software piracy threatens the ability of the industry to continue to contribute to the American economy. According to a 1997 study by Nathan Associates Inc. of Arlington, Va., commissioned by BSA, software piracy in 1996 resulted in the loss of 130,000 jobs in the United States, $5.3 billion in wages and salaries, and nearly $1 billion in tax revenues.

Microsoft encourages consumers to become familiar with the warning signs that can help identify counterfeit or illegal software.

  • Prices that are
    “too good to be true.”
    This may be counterfeit product, or product that has been misdirected, such as product authorized for distribution only to educational institutions but is being offered to the general public.

  • Back-up disks or CD-ROMs with handwritten labels, or components that appear to be of inferior quality

  • Manuals that appear to be photocopied or are of inferior quality

  • Products marked with a phrase, such as
    “For distribution with a new PC only,” “Special CD for licensed customers only,” “Not for retail or OEM distribution”
    or
    “Academic price – not for use in a commercial environment,”
    that does not describe the transaction

In addition, when users acquire a new computer system, it will include operating system software. If that software is the Microsoft® Windows® 98 operating system, it will be accompanied by a user’s manual that incorporates a Certificate of Authenticity as the cover. The customer will also receive a CD-ROM with the software program. There must be an end-user license agreement (this may be seen online when the program is first run). If any of these elements is missing, the product is suspect.

Customers or resellers with questions about the legitimacy of Microsoft products should contact the Microsoft anti-piracy hot line, toll free, at (800) RU-LEGIT (785-3448), or send
e-mail to piracy@microsoft.com. More information about software piracy can also be obtained by calling the Business Software Alliance anti-piracy hot line at (888) NO-PIRACY (667-4722) or sending e-mail to software@bsa.org.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

#########

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Related Posts