Software piracy `threat to jobs'

 

A group of leading software executives visiting Ireland has warned that long term multinational investment here may be jeopardised by inadequate software copyright protection. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is concerned that software piracy in Ireland will go unchecked despite new legislation being drafted to address the problem.

The group met in Government buildings with the Tanaiste, Ms Harney, and the Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise and Employment, Mr Kitt, to air their concerns over sections of the new Copyright Bill due for introduction early next year.

According to Ms Emilia Knight, vice president and managing director of BSA, Europe: "Our aim is to highlight what a big national issue software theft is here. The software industry in Ireland employs 19,000 people directly, but if we could get piracy down to the US level running at 29 per cent, we could see an annual increase here of 3,000 direct and indirect jobs in the software industry." In 1997, it was estimated Irish software theft amounted to £30.8 million out of an export market valued at £4.4 billion.