Sticking Up For Piracy

In "This is one showdown the White House can't duck" (International Business, Apr. 8), you say pirates in China sold software worth $400 million in the U.S. Then, you leap to the unjustified conclusion that software manufacturers in the U.S. lost that much revenue.

In fact, America never had the slightest chance of getting it. A few pages on, you note that Egypt's annual per capita income is $750. If an Egyptian could buy a piece of software selling on U.S. streets for $400, he might make the purchase if he could pay, say, 5% of that amount. But if he is asked to pay the U.S. price--more than half his annual income in one shot---then no sale, no way. He simply cannot buy at the manufacturer's price. In what way does the U.S. producer lose anything?

R.H. Leary

Bangkok

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