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Software piracy: a revenue opportunity

Software piracy: a revenue opportunity

The annual revenue opportunity for software piracy for 2015 has been estimated at $62.7 billion globally, in response, Kerio Technologies has asked its African distributor, Ozone IT to assist in software piracy matters on their software.

Henk Olivier, MD of Ozone IT says: "In South Africa, Kerio has found that for every eight installations, one will be illegal. And looking at other African nations, the ratio stands at five illegal installations for every three legal licenses."  Globally statistics suggest that on average, two out of five licences of every software product in distribution, is an unpaid or an illegal copy.

To combat illegal software use, Ozone is currently following up on illegal licenses that is used on the Kerio products, and also pursuing companies and/or users that are duplicating software on the same license files. In addition, Kerio has recently updated its software to track installations and updates, which most software distributors endeavor to do. By doing this, you are able to report easily on software usage.

"We have had a good success rate" adds Olivier. "We have had a 75% success rate in turning illegal use into licensed software. "By identifying over the past few months unpaid or illegal software usage, we made up sales on previously lost opportunities."

Software piracy law makes it easy to prosecute the party using illegal software. If an End User License Agreement Policy and/or a Usage Of Software Licensing Policy exist, and any clause is broken, an offence has occurred. So, a software company has the right to prosecute, reach a settlement.

This is where it can be a fine line for a distributor: to prosecute the offender, or settle. Option one can see the software company landing a large legal bill, and with option two at least the software vendor/distributor will get some form of financial gain.  

Most countries do allow state prosecutions for these matter, which won't cost, but it might take a time to open a criminal case. For example in South Africa, you can do just this, as long as your have proof, and able to prove the lost revenue.

On the flip side, there are companies that do not worry if their product is pirated or duplicated. But although they may make some sales, the business will never reach its potential if its growth is stunted due to piracy.

There are many revenue opportunities for IT vendors, distributors, resellers or service providers.  As the internet of things progresses, there will just be more and more opportunities for this. In the near future it will become more difficult to pirate or duplicate software, but it will still grow as the amount of software products on the market grows.

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