Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have been busy churning out new software products and operating systems since the end of the financial crisis in 2008.
But what are these giants really doing with their billions of dollars?
While Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon claim to have built the internet and all its digital technologies, the truth is that most of their software development is done at home.
In fact, according to data released by the US government, only about a quarter of all software developed for the computer industry is released into the wild.
And while the US Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks software sales in the US, it does not have statistics for Australia.
This is because the Australian Government doesn’t have data on the market, and does not compile data on how software companies make money.
As a result, there is no way to know whether the software industry in Australia is producing the best software for the people it’s meant to serve, or whether the companies are simply making a quick buck.
For some of the biggest names in the world, this lack of transparency has led to a series of lawsuits and regulatory filings.
The latest in the case is the one that has attracted the attention of the world’s biggest software company.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Apple has been accused of engaging in a massive software fraud scheme, whereby they are knowingly and intentionally breaking Australian law.
“Apple has been repeatedly fined in the past for making software that breaks Australian law and for breaking Australian consumer law,” said EFF’s communications manager, David Heineman.
AAP/Julian Simmonds Apple’s lawyer, James Bamberger, argued the company was only doing what it was supposed to do.
Apple has said the allegations were false and that it was the victim of a “misleading and damaging” campaign by the company.
But EFF’s David Heymann says the accusations of widespread software piracy and fraud are based on a very flawed legal theory.
Heineman said the argument that the software companies were merely making a “quick buck” was “nonsense” because there was no real evidence that these companies had broken Australian law or were in breach of Australian consumer laws.
While many Australian businesses are operating under different rules, such as GST or the Goods and Services Tax, it is up to the Australian Federal Government to determine what is appropriate.
With the Australian Bureau of Statistics releasing data on software sales every three years, it’s important to look at how the software market has changed over time.
Data from the US Department of Commerce shows that software sales have declined significantly in Australia since the financial collapse of 2008.
Apple is one of the few companies that has continued to sell software in Australia.