BEIRUT: The software piracy rate in Lebanon remained nearly unchanged in 2015 at 70 percent compared to 71 percent in 2013, according to the U.S.-based Business Software Alliance, as reported by Lebanon This Week, an economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.
“BSA estimated the software piracy rate in Lebanon at 70 percent in 2015 compared to 71 percent in 2013 and 2011 and 72 percent in 2009 placing the country [at] the 37th highest piracy level among 111 countries worldwide and the sixth highest among 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region,” the Lebanon This Week article said.
Also, Lebanon had the 14th highest piracy rate among 32 upper middle-income countries, or UMICs, included in the survey, the report said.
The survey covered operating systems, systems software such as databases and security packages, business applications and consumer applications such as games and personal finance and reference software.
The report added that globally, Lebanon’s software piracy rate was similar to that of China, and was higher than rates in Argentina (69 percent), Thailand (69 percent) and Ecuador (68 percent) and lower than rates in Albania (73 percent), Kazakhstan (73 percent) and Panama (72 percent).
“Further, Lebanon’s piracy rate was similar to that of China, and came higher than rates in Thailand and Ecuador and lower than rates in Kazakhstan and Panama among UMICs,” it said.
“Lebanon’s software piracy rate was significantly higher than the global rate of 39 percent and the Middle East and Africa rate of 57 percent. Zimbabwe and Libya had the highest piracy rates in the world at 90 percent each and the United States had the lowest rate at 17 percent in 2015, while Libya had the highest piracy rate and South Africa the lowest rate at 33 percent in 2015 among UMICs,” it added.
The bank’s report said that piracy rates in the MENA region increased in two countries, regressed in 12 economies and were unchanged in three countries from 2013.
It said that software piracy-related losses in Lebanon totaled $65 million in 2015, unchanged from 2013 and compared to losses of $52 million in 2011 and $46 million in 2009. “As such, Lebanon posted the 72nd highest piracy-related dollar losses worldwide, the 22nd highest losses among the UMICs and the 10th highest losses in the MENA region,” it said.
“Globally, Lebanon’s piracy-related dollar losses were similar to those in Libya, and came higher than those in El Salvador ($63 million), Oman ($59 million) and Uruguay ($57 million), and lower than losses in Belarus ($76 million), Qatar ($72 million) and New Zealand ($66 million). Its losses were similar to those in Libya, and came higher than losses in Serbia, Tunisia, Jordan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Macedonia, Albania, Mauritius and Montenegro among UMICs; while they were similar to losses in Libya and higher than those in Oman, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Bahrain and Yemen regionally,” it added.
The report said that Lebanon accounted for 0.1 percent of global losses.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 30, 2016, on page 15.