The high price of piracy



South Africans can create 1200 information technology jobs over the next four years if they stay away from software piracy.

Large companies are licence compliant while small businesses have often been caught out with pirated software.

A study by the International Data corporation covering 42 of the best markets in the world revealed that South Africa could boost the amount of IT revenue from its current R60billion per year to R66billion if piracy was brought down to 25percent of total software usage.

Pirated software currently makes 35percent of total software usage, and while the figure is the lowest in Africa jobs in the IT sector could be lost if the trend continues unabated.

The most highly pirated software applications are Symantec, Microsoft and Adobe products.

A first offence carries a fine of R5000 for each copy of illegal software for a first offence and double that amount for the second offence. In both cases an offender, in addition to being required to pay the fine, could also be sent to jail.