Increased copyright protection for software would stimulate the global economy by creating jobs and business opportunities worth billions of dollars in spending and tax revenues, according to research company IDC. The research was recently ordered by the Business Software Alliance, which promotes the use of legal software.

The research examined the economic advantages to 57 countries of the reduction of software piracy and wider enforcement of intellectual property laws. The countries involved in the research, including Israel, represent 98 percent of the world software market.

The research was based on certain assumptions including "countries with low software piracy rates employ more people in the technology sector," and "there is an inverse link between piracy rates and the technology sector's contribution to gross national product."

In the section on Israel, IDC purports that piracy reduction by 2.5 percent annually from 40 percent in 2001 to 30 percent in 2006, would provide Israel with revenues and benefits worth an aggregate $1.2 billion.

The company also asserts that 2,500 jobs would be created and the state would see $245 million in additional tax revenues. In contrast, the researchers contend that if piracy is not reduced, the state will lose $900 million and technology sector growth will amount to just $300 million.

IDC notes that in Israel, a link is evident between piracy reduction already implemented and economic growth. The analysts argue that in 1996-2001, the scope of software piracy fell from 69 percent to 40 percent. During that period, the software industry posted 50-percent growth and led the technology sector to contribute a record 3 percent of GNP in 2001.