Bits & Bytes
THIS LOBBY SPEAKS SOFTWARE AND CARRIES A BIG STICK
Software has become a potent force in the U.S. economy. That's the message that the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a trade group, hoped to get across on Mar. 10, when it planned to descend on Washington. With industry executives and two Senators on hand, it planned to release a report showing that software is now the fastest-growing industry in America. From 1982 to 1992, the report says, the industry grew by 269% in real terms, compared with 30% for the rest of the economy. U.S. software companies now employ 421,000 people, up from 127,000 in 1982. And in terms of value added to the economy, software, at $34 billion, overtook computers and office equipment in 1990.
Now, the industry is seeking political clout to fight for its pet causes: First, it wants the government to negotiate better access to foreign markets. It also wants the U.S. to get tough with countries that don't curb software piracy, which costs U.S. software makers some $12 billion annually. Those issues, the BSA says, are critical for the U.S. in maintaining its 75% share of the $53 billion world market for packaged software.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG