Lebanon software piracy sees slight drop
Country ranks 37th in world with over two-thirds of programs unlicensed
BEIRUT: Software piracy in Lebanon remained high relative to the global average despite a slight decrease from 2017, the U.S.-based Business Software Alliance said in a report released Wednesday.
The group estimated that of the total software units installed in 2017 in Lebanon, 69 percent were unlicensed – a slight drop from the 70 percent estimated in 2015, 71 percent in each of 2011 and 2013, and 72 percent in 2009.
Lebanon came under increasing pressure from the United States, European Union and international business groups to crack down on software and computer piracy.
The World Trade Organization has repeatedly told the Lebanese government that one of the conditions to join WTO was compliance with international rules concerning intellectual property.
“Lebanon had the 37th highest piracy level among 111 countries worldwide and the sixth highest among 15 Arab countries included in the survey. Also, Lebanon had the 14th highest piracy rate among 34 upper middle-income countries included in the survey,” the Business Software Alliance said.
The survey covers operating systems, business applications, systems software such as databases and security packages, and consumer applications such as games, personal finance and reference software.
“Lebanon’s software piracy rate was significantly higher than the global rate of 37 percent and the Middle East & Africa rate of 56 percent. Libya had the highest piracy rate in the world at 90 percent, while the United States had the lowest rate globally at 15 percent in 2017,” the report said.
“Piracy rates among Arab countries increased in Yemen between 2015 and 2017, while they regressed in 11 economies and were unchanged in Iraq, Libya and Oman.
“Globally, Lebanon’s software piracy rate was higher than rates in Ecuador (68 percent) and in Argentina and Uruguay (67 percent each), and lower than rates in Vietnam (74 percent ), Tunisia (73 percent ) and Panama (71 percent ),” the report said.
The group estimated software piracy-related losses in Lebanon to amount to $61 million in 2017, down from $65 million in 2013 and 2015. However, this is up from losses of $52 million in 2011 and $46 million in 2009.
“Lebanon’s piracy-related dollar losses were similar to those in El Salvador, and came higher than those in Belarus ($59 million), Oman ($56 million) and Morocco ($52 million), and lower than losses in Egypt ($64 million), and in Kazakhstan and New Zealand ($62 million each),” the report said.
“Lebanon’s piracy-related dollar losses stood at 0.12 percent of GDP in 2017, relative to 0.13 percent of GDP in each of 2009, 2011 and 2015.” –