Autodesk: Software Piracy In India Costs Us $367M

"For every two companies that buy our software here, there are eight who steal," said Andre Pravaz, vice president of Autodesk's Asia-Pacific operations.

The company, based in San Rafael, Calif., sells software that helps design anything from cartoon characters to skyscrapers.

Pravaz told reporters in Bangalore, India's main technology hub, that his company is banking on India and five other countries, including China and Russia, for future growth, but rampant piracy of its branded software is hurting revenue.

The company has 6 million legal users of its software globally but estimates that 20 million to 30 million people may be using it illegally.

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Most of the users of pirated software are in Asia, a region notorious for rampant copyright violations.

Meanwhile, the company plans to increase staff at its Bangalore customer support center from 83 workers to 200 in three years.

Autodesk's global revenue totaled $952 million in 2003. About 22 percent of its total sales came from Asia.

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