The Tech Herald

Study reveals half the computing population uses pirated software

by Steven Mostyn - Sep 9 2011, 17:10

We'd assume Photoshop is a pirate's favourite. Image: Jordanhill School D&T Dept/Flickr.

We here at The Tech Herald, stalwart champions of ethical behaviour that we are, would never use pirated software on our computer systems. Of course, that doesn’t mean that, collectively, we might nor know a few people who do.

Chances are you yourself know folks with a similar penchant for dodging price tags in favour of installing cracked programs. Either way, it’s not such a big problem, right? It’s not as though such illegal usage is widespread, right? Wrong… to the tune of $59 billion USD.

Moreover, according to a new anti-piracy report released by The Business Software Alliance (BSA), almost half of the world’s computer owners are guilty of either actively or blindly acquiring pirated software.

The BSA survey, polled some 15,000 PC users throughout 32 countries with regard to instances of stretching single licenses across multiple systems and their download activity via peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

In terms of those regions where computer users are most likely to withhold payment for their software, the likes of China, Nigeria, Vietnam, Ukraine and Malaysia were revealed to be the most (un)willing culprits.

Taking a closer look at the figures, some 86 percent of those polled in China said they had acquired software illegally at some point, as did 81 percent of those in Nigeria and 71 percent of users in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, software sellers are least likely to be ripped off in South Africa, where ‘only’ 20 percent of respondents admitted to having light fingers.
 
“It took hundreds of millions of thieves to steal $59 billions worth of software last year,” commented BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman. “Now we have a better understanding of what they’re thinking.”

“The evidence is clear: the way to lower software piracy is by educating businesses and individuals about what is legal—and ramping up enforcement of intellectual property laws to send clearer deterrent signals to the marketplace,” he added.

The Business Software Alliance study into pirated software use was carried out on behalf of Ipsos Public Affairs.

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