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The cost of pirated software

by Leo Waldock on 09.09.2011 11:50
The BSA (British Software Alliance) has announced that global software piracy costs the industry US$59 billion.

The figured are published in the BSA's eight annual global software piracy study and it highlights the following points in its conclusion:

'Nearly half of the world’s computer users (47 percent) acquire their software by illegal means most or all of the time, even though more than 71 percent profess support for intellectual property rights and protections.

In developing countries, the figures are even higher. In China, for example, 86 percent of PC users are regular software pirates. In Nigeria, it is 81 percent. In Vietnam, it is 76 percent.

Many of the world’s software pirates may not even realize they are breaking the law and betraying their own principles, which underscores the importance of concerted public-education and enforcement campaigns.'

Yup, that's what the world needs, education to help people stick fast to their principles.

It is clear those figures assume that every piece of knock-off software on every PC, laptop and server around the world would be pad for at full face value. When you consider that the UK price for Adobe ColdFusion enterprise 9.0 is £3938 and that a copy of Windows 7 is £75-£105 or that Office 2010 costs between £80 and £249 you have to wonder exactly how that sits in countries where the level of income is US$1 or US$2 a day.

 

I'm not trying to excuse software fraud but simply cannot believe the conversion rate would be anything approaching 100 percent so it follows that the headline loss is nowhere near US$59 billion.