The study released Thursday suggested reducing the current software piracy rate of 36 per cent by 10 percentage points could create 14,000 new jobs in the sector and add $8.1 billion in economic growth and $2.3 million in tax revenues over four years.

“Lower piracy rates would mean new jobs for IT workers and greater opportunities for innovation in Canada,” Jacquie Famulak, president of CAAST, said in a release.

The study, conducted by International Data Corp., found that by further reducing its software piracy rate, Canada could accelerate its future IT sector to grow up to 24 per cent instead of the projected 17 per cent between 2004 and 2009.

The study suggested that every one percentage point drop in software piracy worldwide could yield $46.5 billion in economic benefits by jumpstarting growth in the global information technology sector.

The study suggests that countries wanting to combat piracy should update copyright laws, create strong enforcement mechanisms – including tough anti-piracy laws – dedicate government resources to deal with it, improve public awareness and require public sectors to use only legitimate software.

The study focused on market data from 70 countries on IT industry spending, employment, and IT-generated tax revenues.

CAAST is an industry alliance of software manufacturers who share the common goal of reducing software piracy.