The computer software industry contributes to the EU economy nearly one trillion euros annually. It directly accounts for three million jobs

2018-04-04  |  06:00
Says:Bartłomiej Witucki
Function:representative of BSA in Poland
  • MP4
  • EUR 910 bn – this is the contribution of the computer software industry to the EU economy. This is 7.4 percent of the EU’s GDP. The companies developing software directly create over 3 million jobs, and a total of nearly 12 million individuals were employed by companies indirectly associated with that sector – according to BSA data. Software and its development are also one of the most important drivers of research and efficiency growth in all sectors of the economy.

    “Software is important from the economic perspective and for our everyday life because it is a stimulus of development, competitiveness, and efficiency. The software industry contributes to the EU’s economy nearly EUR 1 trillion annually. This is a large amount considering all the sectors of the economy and industry,” said Bartłomiej Witucki, representative of BSA Poland, the worldwide organisation representing the computer software industry in government dealings and on the international market.

    The report prepared by BSA The Software Alliance shows that the contribution of the industry in the EU’s economy is larger than the GDP of 23 out of 28 Member States (except for France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK). Software manufacturers and other companies from the industry have invested nearly EUR 13 bn in research and development, which corresponds to 7.3 percent of all R&D expenditures of EU businesses. Also, this type of investment has a direct impact on the development of other sectors of the economy.

    “7.5 percent – this is the contribution of the software industry to the EU’s GDP. These data show that the software industry is an extremely important component of not only the EU economy, but also the world economy, and its special nature creates progress,” said Bartłomiej Witucki. “Jobs are another thing. The software industry in the EU directly employs 3 million people, but this is only a quarter of all people employed in associated sectors – in essence, all service and logistic sectors.”

    The total number of jobs in Europe supported by the industry is nearly 12 million, which is more than 5 percent of the EU’s labour market.

    The software industry is also a major contributor to the economies of individual states. The BSA analysis shows that it contributes the most to the economies of the UK (EUR 160 bn), Germany (over EUR 150 bn), France (EUR 113 bn), Italy (EUR 50 bn), and Spain (EUR 35 bn euro).

    “There is all reason to believe that the software industry’s outlook is one of stable and continuous development,” says Witucki. “Today, it is hard to imagine what will happen in the next 10 years, but we’re already talking about the internet of things, about smart houses. Only individuals with some sort of imagination can predict the direction the world will take. What is sure, though, is that this direction will be heavily influenced by software.

    However, the industry needs state support to protect its intellectual property and combat piracy.

    “The software industry is relatively vulnerable to theft. Although the efforts to protect software against illegal duplication are in progress, various types of licensing violations continue to occur on a daily basis,” Bartłomiej Witucki stressed.

    Under the Penal Code and the Copyrights and Related Rights Act, computer piracy is punishable by a fine, restriction or deprivation of liberty for as many as up to 5 years. If a business is proven to have used illegal computer software, it can forfeit its servers and computers with illegal software.

    The software producer can claim from the infringing business a compensation of double the amount of the license fee that the business would pay for a legal product (where the infringement was unintentional), and if the infringement was intentional – the business would have to pay triple the amount of the license fee.

    “The problem of education, or raising awareness, about the protection of intellectual rights come back like a boomerang, and also about the advantages of good practices in the management of IT resources and in highly measurable terms – in the context of financial optimisation and legal and IT safety,” Bartłomiej Witucki added.


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