Software piracy in Indonesia dropped last year, but total estimated losses swelled due to market growth, a report says.
The rate of piracy dropped one percentage point to 84 percent in 2007, although the gap was hardly closed to neighbors Malaysia, with 59 percent, and Singapore, with 37 percent.
Indonesia had the 12th highest piracy rate out of 108 countries in 2007, an improvement from 8th highest in 2006, according to an annual survey conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) and Business Software Alliance (BSA).
However, estimated losses suffered by software vendors rose from US$350 million in 2006 to US$411 million last year, mainly due to changes in the exchange rate and market growth, as higher PC penetration increased software sales potential.
The weakening of the dollar against other heavily traded currencies accounted for around half of worldwide losses from software piracy last year.
The overall global piracy rate rose 58 percent mainly due to higher activities in high piracy rate countries - piracy decreased in 67 countries and rose in 11.
The falling piracy rate in Indonesia was helped by increased government purchasing, public education on piracy, improved law enforcement and the rising popularity of laptops, which often come with preinstalled software.
"There were more reported raids last year. There was an increase in the number of prosecutions too. This may make people more aware of piracy laws, or even scare them away from using pirated programs," Donny Sheyoputra of BSA Indonesia said during a press meeting Wednesday.
BSA has been working with police, offering technical advice and financial incentives of up to Rp 50 million for individuals who report offenders to its hotline.
IDC, in a report published January, predicted a one-tenths decrease in piracy would create 2,200 new jobs, and contribute $1.7 billion in GDP. Local vendors would earn around $1 billion more, or equivilent to $88 million in tax.
BSA is an international association representing global software industries. It was founded in 1988 and began operations in Indonesia in 2006. IDC provides market intelligence and advice for companies in information technology, telecommunication and consumer technology markets.