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Business-Software Piracy Climbs

Trade group says piracy rate rose slightly in 2001, costing the United States $1.8 billion in retail sales.

WASHINGTON (AP)--The rate of business-software piracy in the United States climbed slightly in 2001, an industry trade group said Thursday.

The Business Software Alliance, citing a new study conducted by the International Planning & Research Corp., said the U.S. software-piracy rate in 2001 was 25 percent, up 1 percentage point from 2000.

Theft of software cost the United States $1.8 billion in retail sales of business-software applications and more than 111,000 jobs, the group said.

"Software piracy has a damaging economic impact on not only the software industry, but on the economic health of the nation as a whole," Business Software Alliance President Robert Holleyman said.

"It depletes available funding for valuable research and development and causes staggering job losses and billions of dollars in lost wages and tax revenue," Holleyman said.

The study analyzed piracy last year in each state. Researchers calculate the piracy rate by comparing estimates of software applications installed with estimates of applications that are legally shipped.

The state with the highest piracy rate was Mississippi, at 48.7 percent. New York was lowest at 11.9 percent.

The state with the sharpest drop in its piracy rate from 2000 to 2001 was New Hampshire, falling 16.3 percentage points, to 17.2 percent in 2001, from 33.5 percent in 2000.

Maryland's rate fell 14.7 percentage points, followed by California, Nebraska, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New York, Illinois and Missouri.

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