The value of pirated software is increasing
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) stated in its annual report that revenues from software piracy in 2010 reached record levels. The alliance said that piracy worldwide is now costing the industry $59 billion. They also said that it appears that piracy occurs mainly in emerging markets where PCs are growing.
In terms of piracy rates by region, the regions of central and eastern Europe and South and Central America rank first. The regions are all equal at 64%. The BSA said that the commercial value of software piracy has increased by 14 percent in one year alone.
The BSA represents the entire software industry. Robert Holleyman, President and CEO of BSA, said in a statement: “The software industry is being robbed blind. Nearly $59 billion worth of products were stolen last year – and theft rates are completely out of control in the world’s most dynamic markets. The irony is that people all over the world value intellectual property rights, but in many cases they don’t understand that they are getting their software illegally.”
The BSA reported that the global PC market exploded in 2010. As PCMag says, “for the first time, shipments of PCs to emerging economies exceeded those to mature markets, from 174 million to 173 million”.
The BSA said that “the problem is that people often do not realize that the software they use is illegal”. The BSA found that the most common form of piracy in emerging economies was the purchase of a single copy of software by one person and its installation on several computers. They also found that companies were doing the same. The organization found that 51% of PC users (including businesses) in these emerging markets did not realize that installing a single copy of the software on multiple computers was illegal. A BSA spokeswoman said she had obtained all this information from Ipsos and IDC. She also pointed out that Ipsos surveyed more than 15,000 consumer and professional PC users to obtain the best possible picture of the “software load” per PC.
I do not think it is surprising that piracy rates have increased. I’m not saying it’s a good thing. There is no grey area when it comes to piracy. It’s simply illegal, but with the current economic situation, there’s really no additional money to buy multiple copies of software when you can only use one. I’m not saying it’s good, but it makes sense for rates to set records.