In order to stop piracy from the system, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and BSA, The Software Alliance, signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on creating awareness amongst SMEs and other enterprises regarding the risks of IP rights infringement besides building capacities for law enforcement agencies on Intellectual Property (IP).
In this unique partnership, the two associations will run a three-year long campaign in different states and conduct a series of activities that aim to create a favourable environment for IP protection in the country, thereby helping to reduce the piracy rate. In the first phase, the campaign will be rolled out in Gujarat and Rajasthan to help strengthen government machinery to handle IP rights infringement issues. As per BSA Global Software Piracy Study 2011, piracy in software has caused a loss of US$866 million to the Government of India.
FICCI will also organize awareness building programmes for the industry, particularly MSMEs on the risks and business costs associated with using pirated software and on the importance of software asset management.
Highlighting the need for the campaign, Yolynd Lobo, BSA’s Director for India shares, “Protection of intellectual property rights is a crucial aspect that will drive software innovation in India. The government of India has already taken steps to foster this culture of innovation and we believe efforts like these will add further momentum. State governments are realizing that creating this eco-system that nurtures innovation will augment their investment potential. It is also encouraging to see that there is a growing realization among many Indian SMEs that pirated software can have negative financial implications for their businesses in the long run, particularly if they are doing business with global companies.”
“As the representative of Indian industry, FICCI has a particular interest in supporting and encouraging innovation for the benefit of our members. Consequently, we play a leading role in acknowledging the need to protect Intellectual property. With this campaign, we intend to create awareness of this important national issue among all sections of society, including policy makers, legislators and the Indian public at large,” informs Jyoti Vij, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI.
A recent study by BSA and INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, found that increasing the use of properly licensed software would have a greater impact on the economy in India than allowing similar growth in the use of pirated software. A one percent increase in use of licensed software would generate almost US$1.3 billion in national production, compared to US$554 million from a similar increase in pirated software meaning properly licensed software would deliver US$739 million in additional economic value to the Indian economy.