Microsoft Praises Colorado’s Executive Order To Prevent Software Piracy in State Government

REDMOND, Wash., March 13, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. officials today applauded the state of Colorado and Gov. Bill Owens for establishing a strong government policy to prevent software piracy in Colorado state agencies. Colorado is the third state to issue a state executive order requiring all state agencies and recipients of state funds to use and acquire legally licensed software. President Clinton issued a national executive order against software piracy in October 1998. Gov. Owens signed today’s order at a meeting of The Governor’s Commission on Science and Technology in Aspen, Colo.

The Governor’s Commission on Science and Technology ( ), was created in September 1999 to provide a forum for the science and technology business community to offer recommendations on how to make Colorado a world-recognized leader in the technology revolution. The Commission presented a set of policy recommendations to Gov. Owens in December 1999 designed to enhance Colorado’s technology business climate. Cracking down on software piracy in the state workplace was one of the ten initiatives the Commission recommended.

“Colorado has been a leader in addressing issues surrounding intellectual property and criminal counterfeiting of software,”
said Anne Murphy, corporate attorney at Microsoft.
“We applaud Colorado and Gov. Owens for issuing this executive order and for recognizing the seriousness of the problem of software piracy, both in Colorado and nationwide.”

Nearly 27 percent of the software used in Colorado – more than one out of every four copies – has been illegally copied, according to a 1998 study by International Planning and Research. Therefore, it is not surprising that software piracy presents a significant drain on Colorado’s high-tech industry and economy. In 1998, piracy cost the Colorado economy more than 3,000 jobs, $136 million in wage and salary losses, $337 million in retail sales, and nearly $25 million in federal and state taxes. In total, software piracy caused losses of nearly $500 million to the Colorado economy.

Microsoft works closely with government agencies around the nation to help prevent them from inadvertently acquiring Microsoft software and licenses. It has become increasingly easy for customers, including government agencies, to be deceived into believing that they are acquiring genuine software, often because many counterfeit software manufacturers advertise their products over the Internet where it is more difficult for consumers to distinguish genuine and counterfeit software.

“Software piracy hampers innovation and diminishes incentives for further investments to develop better products,”
Murphy said.
“Colorado, along with California and Nevada, which signed executive orders last year, recognizes the importance of protecting intellectual property. This protection is necessary for the software industry to continue to contribute to economic benefits that the industry generates worldwide.”

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