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March 27, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Retailers in the US sold a remarkable $2,900m of microcomputer software in 1987, according to the Software Publishers Association, and despite the rapid rise of Apple Computer, $2,200m or 76% of the total was software written to run under Microsoft’s MS-DOS. Sales of software for the Apple Macintosh totalled $273m, pushing ahead of that for the Apple II, which generated software sales of $220m – still a substantial business. And even the venerable Commodore 64 still generated $113m of business for software developeres. And Macintosh software is the big story, almost doubling from $51m in the first quarter of 1987 to $92m in the final quarter.

On the downside, the US International Trade Commission, reckings that foreign hardware and software pirates ripped off US companies to the tune of $4,100m, the latest year for which it has done its sums. The worst offenders, it says alphabetically, are Brazil, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan. Its report, Foreign Protection of Intellectual Property Rights and the Effect on US Industry and Trade, names Taiwan as being guilty of $530m in illicit business, with Brazil close behind on $528m. A 1984 study of 10 countries by the International Intellectual Property Alliance estimated software piracy losses alone came to $130m a year.

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