Global Product Piracy More Than a Political Talking Point
09/04/2018 Terry Gaul
Trade imbalance is at the crux of the harsh rhetoric exchanged between the U.S. and China recently as both sides threaten to implement tariffs on certain goods and imports to protect their own economies. Adding to this trade imbalance, the U.S. points to China for rampant Intellectual Property theft which they believe has significantly weakened U.S. companies’ position in the global market. As a result, there is heightened awareness of the economic impact of IP theft and it has become a key geopolitical talking point in the debate on fair trade policies.
IP theft takes many forms – counterfeiting, piracy, reverse engineering, industrial espionage, patent theft, brand imitations, and outright blackmail. The VDMA, Europe’s largest mechanical engineering federation representing over 3,100 companies in the capital goods industry, has been monitoring and expressing growing concern about the industrial product piracy epidemic for many years. They claim revenue loss and damages caused by product piracy in mechanical engineering reached the billions in 2015. (see infographic)
For ISVs, of course, IP theft is much more than a talking point. Software piracy alone accounts for billions in lost revenues as well.
According to a 2015 report published by the Business Software Alliance, a leading advocate for the global software industry, 39 percent of software installed on PCs around the world in 2015 was not properly licensed, costing the industry billions in lost revenues. In the United States alone, the commercial value of unlicensed software, installed in 2015 amounts to $9 billion, with worldwide damages estimated to be five times as high. The report further noted that unlawful use of software was particularly widespread in China, Russia and Indonesia, in most cases, amounting to outright theft.
While the ongoing political discussion surrounding IP theft surely won’t result in a solution to the problem, it has at least brought the issue to the forefront. So, what can ISVs do to protect their software from piracy and unlawful usage? A good place to start is to harden their software protection mechanisms provided by commercial solutions such as CodeMeter. CodeMeter Protection Suite comprises a comprehensive set of tools to protect software and firmware from piracy, counterfeiting, reverse engineering and tampering. Protection Suite encrypts the source code and utilizes state-of-the-art anti-debugging and anti-reverse engineering technologies to achieve maximum protection. It is scalable and designed for quick and easy integration into your software.
These protection mechanisms are available now and we urge ISVs to take a serious look at protecting their applications, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, and whether they are delivered on PC, mobile, cloud or embedded systems.
During our Webinar, How Secure do you Want Your Application to be?, on April 11, 9 a.m. PST, we will provide a detailed overview of the different protection layers of CodeMeter and demonstrate how ISVs can use these tools to safeguard their applications. You can register for the 1-hour Webinar here.