After studying law I vectored towards journalism by accident and it's the only job I've done since. It's a job that has taken me on a private jet to Jaisalmer - where I wrote India's first feature on fractional ownership of business jets - to the badlands of west UP where India's sugar economy is inextricably now tied to politics. I'm a big fan of new business models and crafty entrepreneurs. Fortunately for me, there are plenty of those in Asia at the moment.
Software companies operating in India have made a tiny dent in the battle against piracy. Figures released by BSA, a software industry trade body, show that 60 percent of businesses in India use unlicensed software. This places the value of unlicensed software in the country at $2.9 billion compared to $1.9 billion for the licensed software market.
“Our focus is more on advocacy and education than on enforcement. We use enforcement in a strategic manner to send a message [to offenders],” says Yolynd Lobo, director (India) at BSA, also known as The Software Alliance. As a result, while BSA has filed a few cases in the Delhi High Court, its main focus is on Verafirm, a tool for companies to verify the authenticity of their software. Many times companies don’t realise that they are using unlicensed software, according to Lobo. Only 33 percent of companies have written policies in place regarding the use of such software.
With members like Adobe and Microsoft, the BSA plans to make steady progress in reducing the rate of piracy in India. One can only hope that that number (60 percent) will drop.