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U.S. has lowest piracy rate in the world

Software companies continue to cite huge monetary losses that they attribute to piracy. The question for some who doubt the claimed losses resulting from piracy is whether the people pirating software would actually buy the software if they didn’t get it illegally.

A new report has been issued that claims the global loss to software piracy is over $50 billion.

The report claims that in 2009, 43% of the software on computers around the world was pirated, up from 41% the previous year. Of the $50.4 billion in losses attributed to piracy globally, $16.5 million of that number is said to be in the Asia-Pacific region alone. The most prolific pirating nations are Brazil, India, and China. The average piracy rate in the Asia-Pacific area is 59%. Yahoo News reports that the 59% number means that 900 million computers in the area run pirated software.

The Business Software Alliance's Jeffrey Hardee said, "This study makes clear that while efforts to bring down piracy levels in the Asia-Pacific are enjoying some success, dollar losses at over 16.5 billion (dollars) remain the highest in the world. This is unacceptable and there is still much to be done to engage governments, businesses and consumers on the risks and impact of software piracy."

The world's top pirate country is Georgia in the former Soviet Union where 95% of all software is claimed to be illegal. Behind Georgia are Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Moldova, Armenia, and Yemen. The country with the lowest piracy rate is the U.S. at 20% followed by Luxembourg, New Zealand, and Australia.

Asia continues to be the largest source of software piracy according to the report despite increasing crackdowns by governments in the area. In January 2009, China sentenced 11 in a case that involved millions of copies of pirated software.


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By nidomus on 5/11/2010 10:54:20 AM , Rating: 5
Just because someone pirated something, does not mean they would have PAID for it in the first place. More than likely the person pirating would just do without, if they could not get it for free.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Denigrate on 5/11/2010 11:12:51 AM , Rating: 4
This is dead on. People who can afford software buy it, those who don't pirate it. These numbers are artificially inflated so that software corps can justify their poor sales numbers. Just like the music industry, it has nothing to do with their crap product.

Oh, and I fail to understand why any artist would sign a long term contract with a record label. It makes much more sense to sign a 3-4 record deal, then publish themselves once they are established.

RE: Bullcrap...
By chmilz on 5/11/2010 11:35:05 AM , Rating: 5
I can afford a lot of things I don't buy.

I haven't purchased music in years, probably won't. When those artists get off their butts and make it to my city, I drop the $50, $100, $200 to see them perform.

I still buy some games, but 95% of the time I pirate them first to see if they suck, and 95% of the time they do. I buy the games that I enjoyed and kept for more than a couple days.

Essentially, this is how I feel:
Software - stop making crap and anyone who's going to buy it, will. The rest aren't "lost" sales, but sales you never had
Music - distribute all music for free, and tour, sell swag for cash. If you're a North American no-talent manufactured twat, you deserve to never make a penny

RE: Bullcrap...
By FaceMaster on 5/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Bullcrap...
By SunAngel on 5/11/10, Rating: -1
RE: Bullcrap...
By MindParadox on 5/11/2010 3:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
actually, he could do just exactly what i do, which is actually TRY it before ya buy it. i dont play games on the playstation 3 or wii as much because you cant try the games(in the PS3's case you can, but only a VERY limited select few) before you buy them, however, on the xbox360 and PC, i can either download a trial from Xbox Live(on the 360) or a copy from a torrent(on the pc, usually there are trial versions on the net as well for most games and software) and if i like it, i buy it. yes, this makes me VERY picky about what i buy, however, i dont keep a pirated copy of anything for more than a week, long enough to test it and see.

Gaming has gotten alot better in this regard with Gamefly, 10 bucks a month and you can rent a copy to play legally and if ya like it, tell em ya wanna keep it, it shows up on yer next bill and they send you the box and manual.

Netflix WAS a good way to check out new movies on the cheap, altho Redbox is becoming my favorite way to see if i wanna pay 15 bucks to keep a movie, due to netflix basically saying "New Movies arent a draw"

the try before you buy mentality isnt a "f**k you and your family, and your hard work" attitude, its a "I want to see if your work is worth my money" attitude

sadly, 90% of the software i use on my PC is freeware, because its as good if not better in some cases than paid versions of the same stuff

enjoy your "everything is black and white, you must pay me because i did something or its stealing, even if you dont want it" mentality, it just doesnt fly in reality

RE: Bullcrap...
By dark matter on 5/11/2010 3:42:33 PM , Rating: 4
This is true, you wouldn't buy aftershave before you had a sample. You wouldn't buy a car before you took it for a test drive. You wouldn't rent a house/apartment without looking round it first. Why, when it comes to digital media, you don't get that chance?

RE: Bullcrap...
By FaceMaster on 5/11/2010 10:57:29 PM , Rating: 3
..because it's the whole thing.

RE: Bullcrap...
By CrazyBernie on 5/12/2010 12:31:15 AM , Rating: 3
You don't test drive part of a car.. or sample half the ingredients of the aftershave, or just look at parts of a house before you make a purchase.

RE: Bullcrap...
By FaceMaster on 5/12/2010 8:54:15 AM , Rating: 2
You don't test-drive the car for a year, or live in the house for your lifetime before buying it, either.

You have game demos and trials if you want to test out software. Unlike a car, or a house, which is a long term investment, a typical song or game can lose its interest and use after a day or so. There is no incentive to buying a product if you've already seen all it has to offer. Apart from with a product like photoshop... and we all know how rampant piracy is for THAT.

Honestly, comparing a song to a car is just stupid. I'm sure you knew that when you posted the analogy.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Fracture on 5/12/2010 11:59:53 AM , Rating: 1

It is impossible. To steal something means to deprive the use of it from someone else. When someone makes a copy, they do not deprive the original from its owner.


Basic economics comes into play. If supply of music goes to infinity, price will go to zero. How do you estimate that $50.1B is lost from music with a price of zero?

Sharing music through peer-to-peer networks and torrents has done more for the music industry than the organisations running it ever have. Whether you call it sharing or pirating, the dissemination of music has raised interest in little-known artists, in live concerts, in merchandise and all sorts of other finite goods.

If you believe that it IS possible to pirate music, then the MPAA/RIAA has succeeded in brainwashing you. This is not the same as copying someone else's works and claiming them as your own. This is not taking credit for the creation or performance of those works.

RE: Bullcrap...
By lightfoot on 5/12/2010 3:18:46 PM , Rating: 3
By your own definition, piracy is theft.
By taking intellectual property that does not belong to you without permission or compensation to the legitimate owner you are depriving that owner of the revenue that they are entitled to.

It is a financial crime, not a property crime - this is true. However it is still theft.

RE: Bullcrap...
By chmilz on 5/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bullcrap...
By sleepeeg3 on 5/11/2010 11:06:57 PM , Rating: 1
Stop pirating and they will have money to stop making crap. What is the point in investing millions in a product if people are going to steal it? Quit making excuses for yourself.

$50B is obviously inflated, but piracy is an issue, based on the open admissions on forums.

...and Dailytech writer - proofread your article. You meant millions - not billions.

RE: Bullcrap...
By sleepeeg3 on 5/11/2010 11:08:37 PM , Rating: 2

I meant "billions - not millions." :P

RE: Bullcrap...
By Kurz on 5/12/2010 9:28:15 AM , Rating: 2
Who is to say that they'll stop making crap if I spent money on an uninformed decision.

I buy games all the time though I love to try out the games first usually.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Dradien on 5/12/2010 11:54:29 AM , Rating: 1
Avatar-The HIGHEST grossing movie of ALL time. As well as the most pirated movie of all time.

Some people hate it, some love it, but saying when you pirate something, you kill the devs ability to make a good product, which just isn't true.

How many of you have bought game packs on steam and have yet to play a couple of the games?

I also sometimes try before I in downloading shit. I have downloaded, then bought, Need for Speed 1-Underground 2. UT, UT 2k3, UT 2k4, as well as windows 7. Why? Because it's software I enjoyed so much, I felt guilty as hell not actually paying for it.

I just purchased Just Cause 2 and Battle Field: Bad company 2 because those were quality titles I felt the Devs deserved my money. There have been a whole crap load of games I've acquired and deleted soon after.

I believe, with some exceptions (There are ALWAYS exception), that if you release a quality product, people WILL buy it. Putting out the same sports titles, year after year...thats's bullshit.

RE: Bullcrap...
By xthetenth on 5/12/2010 3:26:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hell no, if you buy crap, you create demand for crap, encouraging the supply of other crap. If you buy good things, you encourage the production of good things. Stop furthering the image of the consumer as a gullible idiot, some of us have discerning taste. It is getting to be damn hard for me to tell what is quality when demos are single levels of old builds that may or may not strongly resemble the actual game. Oh well, I don't have any interest in pirating stuff, I just don't buy things that might be crap. If demos were more representative, I would likely buy more things, but if they can't be bothered to show what their product is, I can't be bothered to buy it.

RE: Bullcrap...
By jonmcc33 on 5/11/2010 12:04:15 PM , Rating: 3
This is dead on. People who can afford software buy it, those who don't pirate it.

This is completely wrong. I have seen people drop $4,000 on a gaming PC and still pirate the Windows OS and games on it. It has nothing to do with whether someone can afford it.

RE: Bullcrap...
By dark matter on 5/11/2010 3:43:23 PM , Rating: 2

In fact those who pirate often have MORE money than those that don't. ;)

RE: Bullcrap...
By tedrodai on 5/11/2010 4:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
It all boils down to cost (of course), perceived value, and ease of perpetration. I suppose there's even a few (mostly children, I would assume--but wouldn't gamble on lol) who don't realize it's wrong.

Some people will pirate just because they can, of course--it's a heck of a lot easier to do than stealing $4,000 worth of hardware.

Some people pirate because they're used to it ("it isn't really hurting anyone, and it definitely benefits me").

Some people pirate because they don't feel a product is worth the cost.

Some people pirate because they want to try it.

There's many other 'reasons', and they're not mutually exclusive.

RE: Bullcrap...
By jonmcc33 on 5/11/2010 5:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Some people pirate because they want to try it.

I can see that reason without a doubt. I sure wouldn't have purchased Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising if I had been able to pirate it first. Very short single player and no multiplayer at all due to lack of dedicated server support.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Blessedman on 5/11/2010 5:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
I am not spending $4,000 to play around with 3D rendering software. I enjoy messing with the stuff and I use it, but not professionally. I don't make money from the software, so therefore I am not going to buy it. I will pirate it, I was never going to buy it, so therefore they didn't lose a dime. Now if I became good at it and actually got a job using that software, I would buy it in a heartbeat (which again benefits the company by letting me use a pirated copy until I get good enough at it). I buy all my OS software and I bought office (even though I don't make money from it directly I do use it for my resume and other office duties I do at home). I think windows is the cheapest software out there (as far as price goes) for everything you get with it. Microsoft gets the idea of try before you buy and that is why they have 99% of all their software as trials first. Look what it does for them, they make out like bandits! The enormous trial run they had with win7 and look at the rewards they are reaping.

The whole idea of these companies complaining about profits they are losing due to piracy is another way of writing off a loses that don't actually exist. The MPAA and the RIAA both use this same method to make more money by not having to pay more to the government. It's all a scam!!

RE: Bullcrap...
By lainofthewired on 5/11/2010 12:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, there are some people who'd rather torrent even if they can afford it. My sister is one of them, she has very much the means to easily afford all of the music and movies she has, but she just refuses to buy anything. She just doesn't give a damn, she'd rather get it free, no matter how cheap it is. I'd say maybe a third of those purported sales loss figures are actual sales losses.

RE: Bullcrap...
By bigdawg1988 on 5/11/2010 7:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, and I fail to understand why any artist would sign a long term contract with a record label. It makes much more sense to sign a 3-4 record deal, then publish themselves once they are established

Because the record companies and publishers don't want them to. They want to enslave artists so they block them out of the market if they don't play by their rules. Why do you think there are so many flavor of the month artists? The record companies sign them for a small sum, market the hell outta them, make their money, and then boot their asses once the original contract runs out. That's why the ones with little talent are all over the place and can't even support themselves by touring after their 15 minutes are up. Artists don't make enough money or have enough clout to publish themselves, except a very few older ones like Led Zeppelin or Prince (and it took him a long time). Record companies and distributors control publicity and the air waves so if you don't play you have no chance. They've divided and conquered which is why you get a lot of the same crap all over the air waves. There are a lot of talented artists out there, you just won't hear about them.
Sort of why I'm not that much against music piracy, although I don't do it myself. Bump the big record companies! They've screwed up the industry almost from the beginning.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Shatbot on 5/11/2010 11:18:10 AM , Rating: 4
So $50B is lost...

I'd be interested to see the flip side of the coin - how much productivity is gained by the use of fully fledged (but pirated) software when it's distributed for "free".

If 59% of Asia had to fess up and pay correct licensing fees there would be a lot of businesses who couldn't afford to use the applications. Many small businesses operate on razor thin margins to say the least.

Piracy, it's part of life, it just depends on which side of the boat you're gonna sit in.

The music industry's? aaaarrrrghhh
or BitTorrents? - Aarrr!

I'm grabbing a parrot.

RE: Bullcrap...
By The0ne on 5/11/2010 11:30:32 AM , Rating: 5
I have colleagues in China, none of them have legal software. I had a hard time accepting it at first until I realized their paycheck would never be able to allow them to pay for the OS alone. And these are senior engineers. A girl friend of mine saved 2 months of her paycheck just to buy a PSP >.>

That's one side :)

RE: Bullcrap...
By lightfoot on 5/11/2010 12:30:04 PM , Rating: 4
I've got friends in China too, and piracy has nothing to do with being able to afford the software. They all run $2,000 laptops, and have $1,000 cell phones. They can afford plenty. The only difference is that buying software sends the profits to the US, but buying the computer or the cellphone sends the profits to Chinese companies. The Chinese government cracks down hard on piracy and theft from Chinese companies. They just don't give a damn about theft from other countries.

China first.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Drag0nFire on 5/11/2010 1:32:51 PM , Rating: 3
In my experience, most of China is as you describe. But what bothers me after the time I spent studying in China is that the few who can afford to pay for legitimate goods seem to take particular pride in pirating whenever possible. Just my 2 cents...

RE: Bullcrap...
By Earthmonger on 5/11/2010 11:33:52 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah... $50 Billion. I'd like to know the exact equation they used to figure up this astronomical total. This math probably has all the validity and accuracy of the Psychic Friend's Network.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Proxes on 5/11/2010 11:59:58 AM , Rating: 5
They probably used pirated software to calculate it.

RE: Bullcrap...
By lyeoh on 5/11/2010 12:18:16 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah that 50 billion sounds like bullshit to me.

Let's put things into perspective: how much did those clever Finance guys cost just the US citizens alone?

They often claim their fancy schemes are about reducing risk, but roughly every 10 years or so they blow stuff up.

Then google for federal reserve trillions. Yes trillions. One trillion is a thousand billions. It'll take many years of software "piracy" to cost the trillions that the Federal reserve is so hush-hush about.

So who is doing the most lying and stealing?

RE: Bullcrap...
By Kurz on 5/12/2010 9:37:23 AM , Rating: 1
In the grand scheme of things Piracy is low end.
Governments and the organizations they give power to do most of the robbing. Except most are content with it.

But no... when the citizens do the stealing we are held to higher standard. Then the Governments come down and say you can't steal when they themselves do it on a daily basis.

RE: Bullcrap...
By lightfoot on 5/11/2010 12:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote: much productivity is gained by the use of fully fledged (but pirated) software when it's distributed for "free".
Many small businesses operate on razor thin margins to say the least.

So basically you're saying that if I run a unsuccessful business and you run a successful one, I am perfectly justified stealing your product if it makes my business more profitable or more productive? Nice...

RE: Bullcrap...
By lyeoh on 5/11/2010 2:35:58 PM , Rating: 3
Copying is not stealing. The laws controlling copying and distribution of copyrighted material are not the same in all countries.

Laws against theft have over thousands of years generally done more good than harm to society (maybe thieves in Saudi Arabia might disagree on their specific cases).

Laws against copyright infringement on the other hand do not have such an established track record.

RE: Bullcrap...
By lightfoot on 5/11/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bullcrap...
By ClownPuncher on 5/11/2010 3:52:58 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it has anything to do with moral flexibility, stealing and copyright infringement are not the same according to the Law and Websters.

Most people, evidently, don't know the difference.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Shatbot on 5/11/2010 10:40:46 PM , Rating: 2
Well, since the article is about how much piracy costs the economy I was pointing out that if small businesses in Asia had to pay for their software many wouldn't be able to do so, and that "free" fully fledged software might actually be better for the economy as a whole.

The "report" (where ever it is) makes it sound like this money falls down a hole. There's a valid case for saying the exact opposite is true, especially when you can spend the money elsewhere.

RE: Bullcrap...
By funkyd99 on 5/11/2010 11:37:23 AM , Rating: 3
...second sentence of the article.

RE: Bullcrap...
By hr824 on 5/11/2010 12:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
I would comment but since the author just says "A new report" the article means nothing. What report? where's the link /reference? or am I just supposed to take the authors word for it? It's kinda hard to judge if the report is bull crap without the report don't ya think?

RE: Bullcrap...
By Motoman on 5/11/2010 1:29:32 PM , Rating: 5
I've been saying this for years, and it's always been 100% true and always will be 100% true.

The VAST majority of the time when someone gets a pirated copy of something, the original publisher LOSES NOTHING. Because there was never a sale to be made there in the first place.

Say some college kid downloads a pirated copy of Photoshop. What does PS cost in the store? $500? The chances of said college kid actually paying $500 for PS is ZERO. It will NEVER HAPPEN. If PS was absolutely not available as a pirated download, the college kid would use something else. Like GIMP or Paint.NET. Or whatever. Adobe loses nothing.

Same thing goes for MS Office and lots of other stuff.

When people download pirated music, it's maybe not necessarily because they can't afford the CD - but it may be due to the fact that they don't like it enough to pay for it. Or they're just checking it out. If it wasn't available for illegal download, they just wouldn't bother with it at all. Money was not lost. Same for movies.

Any time someone comes out with some $XXX LOST DUE TO PIRACY claim, it's total BS that no one should ever tolerate. Take whatever figure they give you and multiply it by 0.01 - maybe 1% of any such figure could be believable. And that last 1% is never going to pay for anything anyway, because that's the way they are.

And don't forget people who have realized that DRM makes piracy the better option for a would-be legitimate consumer. When the Avatar BD won't play on your BD player, both of which were bought with honest dollars at a retail store, because of the DRM infection the publisher chooses to inflict upon honest consumers - piracy is the better option. DRM has not EVER worked, and it will NEVER work. It has had a 100% failure rate, and always will have a 100% failure rate, that the only people that are punished by DRM are legitimate consumers. Who are therefore encouraged by the publisher to get pirated DRM-free copies that will actually work correctly. Every dollar a publisher spends on DRM pushes honest consumers toward piracy.

RE: Bullcrap...
By MindParadox on 5/11/2010 3:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
DRM punishes the law abiding citizens, nothing more, i completely agree with you. look at ubisoft and their latest, you HAVE to be online at all times and connected to their(ridiculously buggy and crash prone) server in order to play Splinter Cell on the PC(the ENTIRE time you play)

how does this do anything for the customer?

RE: Bullcrap...
By lightfoot on 5/11/2010 3:19:56 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that DRM is not the answer to piracy. However ignoring piracy is not the answer either.

The biggest problem with piracy is in countries that have weak IP laws. The choice to the consumer needs to be to either pay for the legitimate product or not to.

Using a product but not paying for it is not an acceptable solution - and it never will be.

RE: Bullcrap...
By Motoman on 5/11/2010 9:25:53 PM , Rating: 1
...and when the consumer is punished by DRM for legally purchasing said product?

First of all, I can't condone piracy. The best option is to do without.

But looking at DRM, if you wanted to watch Avatar on your home theater system and had 2 choices:

1. Get a pirated copy off the internet for free that has no bugs, glitches, or problems of any kind


2. Buy a legitimate retail copy that won't work on your BD player, so you try to do a firmware upgrade, and then that bricks your BD player, and the BD won't play on your computer either until you patch your install of PowerDVD and then it plays more or less OK with the occasional pixelation or something.

...are you overly inclined to spend $25 for the privelege of having your BD player bricked and then dick with your PC for a couple hours before finally getting to watch Avatar on your PC monitor? Or is piracy looking more like a good idea, since it won't cause you personally any problems at all?

DRM is sheer stupidity mated with pure evil. It is far and away the #1 technology in the world that *should* be illegal.

RE: Bullcrap...
By xsilver on 5/11/2010 11:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Or whatever. Adobe loses nothing.

actually adobe could be losing, they are losing potential future sales when that college kid graduates and decides to buy software, are they going with the familiar tried and true PS or stick with the cheaper option they got accustomed to in college?

RE: Bullcrap...
By KCjoker on 5/11/2010 8:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
True, except for an OS like Win 7 unless you wanna use linux.

RE: Bullcrap...
By tedrodai on 5/12/2010 9:00:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, as many people agree. However, to give them some credit, here's a quote from the Yahoo article:

In an interview with AFP after the briefing, Hardee said companies using bootleg computer programmes, rather than individuals, were inflicting the heaviest damage.

I didn't see a list of what software they looked for to come up with those figures, so lord knows what % of that figure comes from individuals vs businesses...but businesses can't use the same argument.

I call shenanigans...
By mmntech on 5/11/2010 11:48:53 AM , Rating: 5
Wait a minute. Didn't the US Government Accountability Office just say not a month ago that monetary and job losses due to piracy and counterfeiting were impossible to calculate? Why yes, they did, and I just happen to have the link right here.

RE: I call shenanigans...
By geddarkstorm on 5/11/2010 12:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah these numbers sound just a tad on the make-something-up-that-sounds-big-but-just-not-quit e-big-enough-to-make-people-question-us side.

RE: I call shenanigans...
By Drag0nFire on 5/11/2010 1:37:42 PM , Rating: 3
I can't even imagine how someone could pretend that these results are legit. Did they conduct a survey?

"What is the approximate value of all pirated software on your computer?"
a) $0
b) $10
c) >$10

RE: I call shenanigans...
By chagrinnin on 5/11/2010 1:53:00 PM , Rating: 4

d) <$50.1 billion USD

Adobe Reader $300
By McGixxer on 5/11/2010 12:19:10 PM , Rating: 5
Adobe Reader... The program I have to pay 300 dollars to use to save a file that someone else made to be edited!?

Adobe software deserves to be pirated due to insane pricing and Adobe deserves a swift death!

If Adobe charged 49.99 for reader pro it would completely change the way I feel about the company, but because of their insane pricing, I hope they go out of business and get replaced by something or someone!


RE: Adobe Reader $300
By ClownPuncher on 5/11/2010 1:48:35 PM , Rating: 1
Reader is free, Acrobat is full featured software that does alot more than you imply.

RE: Adobe Reader $300
By McGixxer on 5/13/2010 11:15:23 AM , Rating: 2
The ability to save a file is still 300.00 though...

You somehow missed the whole point of what I was saying about paying $300.00 to be able to save a file.

While Im not disputing the fact that the software does a lot more then what I need it to do, there is no option between free and 300 dollars to do what I any many people want to be able to do for a more resonable amount of money.

$300.00 is not a resonable amount of money to edit and save a file. My OS didnt cost that much money.

Adobe Acrobat Pro is Pirated like crazy! (I heard) ;)

If they dropped it down to 50.00 or at least made a version that aloud you to save files for 50.00 people wouldnt pirate it as much, and Adobe would make more money.

RE: Adobe Reader $300
By bodar on 5/11/2010 4:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
ClownPuncher is correct, Acrobat does a lot more than a simple edit. However, Adobe is not the only game in town.

Google: PDF XChange Pro (since DT spam filter won't let me post the link). It doesn't have the best UI but it has a lot of competitive features.

Pirates are morons
By fatedtodie on 5/12/2010 6:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
If you steal a candy bar from a 7-11, even if it is a horrible tasting candy bar that probably would have stayed on the shelf until it past its expiration date, and then was finally thrown out or returned, does that mean it was not a crime?

(Just an FYI, the answer is no, it is still a crime)

So how come when it is in a digital world people go and ignore reality? It doesn't matter if "the pirates would never have paid for it anyway". The product, worth X dollars, is not paid for. It is now on a computer a pirate owns. It is now a stolen item. That stolen item STILL has the value of X dollars, it didn't go to X-1 or X*0 just because he would never have purchased it. It stays at X dollars.

So if there are 9 people with say only 1 piece of software they stole on their computer, and the average piece of software stolen was about 10 bucks, it is simple math to figure how much these pirates took from the software industry.

People on this site berate Apple "fanbois" and Microsoft fanboys, and droid fanboys, etc. Yet they seem to leave the "distortion field" active for pirates. Theft is theft. The value of an item doesn't magically disappear because you hate DRM, or because you "just want to try it" or just because you are a moron.

Piracy costs the world lots of money, and it invades the lives of people that do not want to steal. I purchased ALL of my music/movies/games/etc. I do not find it required to steal.

If piracy laws were truely enforced vigorously and to the full extent of the law I would be happy.


RE: Pirates are morons
By camylarde on 5/12/2010 8:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
sorry, but still there is the problem that everybody feels safe doing it. In market, stealing that lollipop still may mean that the pakistani shop owner will pull a gun at you. Stealing the newest photoshop will most probably mean no harm towards the pirate.

Now, if the software piracy was at least at the security level with common stealing, I mean, not so completely safe, many people would refrain from it.

But they would not go and buy the thing in 99.9% of times either.

The number 50B may be and that is a huge MAYBE (printed in capital letters over a white sheet of the size of a football field) close to the gross lost money due to piracy. But the real loss is completely different number equal to the hypothetical IF-piracy-was-impossible-how-much-would-the-sales-g o-up figure. And that real loss money is significantly lower, in my opinion.

the gross number is in my head equal to ranting about secondhand sales of cars and the manufacturer getting nothing out of these sales.

Laughable, and meaningless number.

RE: Pirates are morons
By nafhan on 5/12/2010 12:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
"Piracy" is not stealing. It's copyright infringement. No one actually loses anything directly by copyright infringement. What they're losing is a possibility that someone may have bought their data if a free alternative was not available. This is certainly not a guarantee of sale, and incredibly difficult to measure in monetary terms.
If 9 people pirate a $10 piece of software, that means that the software company lost nothing. However in the absence of piracy, it's possible that the people would have not used the software at all (company makes $0) or they may have all purchased it ($90). In other words, there is likely some lost revenue due to piracy, but piracy generally cannot be correlated with lost revenue.
The reason people on this site come across as piracy "fanbois" is because the companies trying to discourage piracy generally use ridiculously inflated metrics to "prove" their points, and techy people like to shoot holes in faulty logic :)

RE: Pirates are morons
By Fracture on 5/12/2010 3:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
Or we like to stand on principled reasoning that piracy is not stealing the same way that photocopying a book is not stealing.

Pirating music vs software are two different things: one for the sole purpose of entertainment, the other a tool for productivity. Piracy does indeed hurt the software developers, but perhaps that can be resolved with a better business model. Take IBM for instance, who earns a hefty sum for their tech support.
Remember, the likelihood to buy is strongly influenced by price - an 80% reduction can lead to 2000% increased sales.

By Inkjammer on 5/11/2010 12:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
Most people who pirate wouldn't have bought it anyway, no. I think the only legal stickiness is when people can use pirated software (Photoshop, Fruity Loops, 3DS Max) to make something for profit. The moment you start accepting money for anything using pirated software it opens up a whole new door of issues.

But for the most part, people playing games, movies, etc wouldn't have paid anything anyway.

RE: Piracy
By lightfoot on 5/11/2010 12:52:38 PM , Rating: 1
But for the most part, people playing games, movies, etc wouldn't have paid anything anyway.

If it truly isn't worth anything then why are they wasting their time using it? Your logic is flawed. The people are clearly playing the games and watching the movies. They DO value the product that they are using. They simply aren't willing to pay for it.

Maybe the pricing model is somewhat broken, but even "free" is still cheaper than "reasonable."

The problem is that the cost of theft is so low that even a reasonable price is considered too high by the thieves.

Taking your logic to its logical conclusion, all movies and games will cease to be created because nobody is willing to pay for entertainment.

RE: Piracy
By Inkjammer on 5/11/2010 1:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
If it truly isn't worth anything then why are they wasting their time using it? Your logic is flawed.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not justifying piracy, and I don't engage in it (except for the occasional TV show downloads, but I pay cable and Netflix as it is, so...)

It bothers me when people pirate it and try to play online, or log 100+ hours into a game (Fallout 3), can't stop talking about it, then go "Eh, it wasn't worth it" like my friend. I don't agree with that. You put that much time into something...

But deep down, I know him, and he really wouldn't have bought it anyway. I agree with the "if you can't buy it, you don't need it" idea. And piracy is a problem when it takes less than 2 or 3 minutes to log onto a torrent site and queue up the latest title. No effort. I agree that is a problem. Back in the day when warez sites were the end all, be all, piracy was less of an issue. Now, it's no effort. And I agree that that /is/ a problem, because it breeds a mentality that "I never have to pay for anything" amongst people.

But I still believe that not everybody WOULD have paid for it if they had the choice.

RE: Piracy
By HotFoot on 5/11/2010 2:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
Some things really are quite affordable. I try to keep inflation in mind when looking at the costs, but a music album has hardly ever been more affordable than today. The same goes for movies. It seems to me that the price has stayed the same over the last 10, maybe 15 years for these items. Meanwhile, at least in my area, groceries, fuel, utilities, and housing have each at least doubled or more.

When I think of a movie or music, the bigger part of the cost in my mind is my own time. If something is worth watching for 2 hours every now and again, then it's easily worth the $20 or so.

One thing, though, is I think it's a hard argument to come down on the general population and convince them taking things and not paying for it is so morally objectionable when there is so much corruption in society's leadership. I don't steal on a matter of principle, but how can you say to everyone they should have those principles when we see already fabulously wealthy and powerful people ripping off the population at large?

This fight isn't going to be won by technology. It's a cultural problem. One of the things that's allowed our culture to shine over the last several generations is a strong fight against corruption.

By AbsShek on 5/11/2010 11:36:38 AM , Rating: 2
$50.1 billion of the overpriced software left in the pockets of consumers so that it could be spent on something more meaningful... like food.

Also, where do these numbers come from? If it's so hard to track piracy, how in hell did they come up with these statistics?

RE: Correction...
By lightfoot on 5/11/2010 1:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you make the assumption that using software that does not belong to you is an inherent right? There are free alternatives to most software packages that do not involve piracy.

Why is stealing Microsoft Office so much more acceptable to you than using Open Office?

These people who need to save their money for food, don't need software. And they definitely don't need to steal it.

RE: Correction...
By HotFoot on 5/11/2010 2:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
I use Open Office at home - same goes for GIMP. For amateur home use I see no reason in paying for that sort of software when some people are generous enough to share their work with the community.

So how am I counted in the statistics? I mean, they don't actually count how many times something is illegally downloaded (they might for small samples and then extrapolate). Maybe I buy less software than they think I should, so they just assume I'm stealing. Take for instance that I've had several Linux boxes at home. Does MS look at the number of x86 CPUs sold and say for each one there should have been a sale of Windows - and if not, then someone obviously pirated the OS?

I don't believe the numbers. I'm in no way arguing in favour of piracy. I do think we have a serious problem of conflict of interest in a lot of studies and reports coming out and people really need to follow the money. That goes for so many fields and discussions we've had in these forums.

If they found a way to eliminate piracy...
By Nutzo on 5/11/2010 1:26:36 PM , Rating: 3
If they found a way to eliminate piracy, i.e. somehow made it impossible to copy or run a copy, it would not significantly increase sales. Instead it would result in huge grow of the free software market like Open Office.

By XZerg on 5/11/2010 1:34:18 PM , Rating: 2
Or sales plummet crazily. I think Microsoft's motto makes more sense of this issue: If they are going to pirate then it better be us then someone else. The pirating of Microsoft products is what really helped Microsoft gain the monopoly in the PC world. The reason why it is failing to gain a monopoly in other areas is mostly because of people unable to pirate: XBOX, Zune, Windows Mobile, ...

This pretty much applies to all other software companies too - if it ain't free you won't have a monopoly unless your product can be pirated. NOTE: This is keeping end-users in mind, not businesses. Businesses will be bent to use these products due to lower training/development costs.

Minor boo-boo
By lainofthewired on 5/11/2010 11:58:59 AM , Rating: 4
I believe that first "$16.5 million" should be "$16.5 billion," yes?

By callmeroy on 5/12/2010 9:19:14 AM , Rating: 2
The great debate on software/music that has as varying opinions and stokes passions in folks on par with religion, politics and abortion...

Here's my take....nearly everyone commits piracy at one point or another in their lives....Its like speed limits...we know we "shouldn't" break them...yet everyone does at least time to time.

The "well if they didn't make crap" argument is the number one reason given for why people also holds no water and its a very stupid defense. As if you carry that logic and apply it to other areas of life...who's the judge then whether to pay or not pay something? Ever lived in an apartment that doesn't really make you that happy but you need a place to live so you put up with it? Do you tell your landlord "Well this place is a crap hole I'm not paying you anymore."...that's stupid...

I agree that prices are crazy, but hey buyer beware...

Now the weird thing is I think the real problem is when you keep something and don't pay for it....if someone "pirates" software but then they BUY it...I have no problem with that.

I do think its pretty "loserly" so to speak to pirate software and then you just never pay for it under the premise its not worth it...

Well then if its not worth to pay for it -- why are you keeping it? I thought you said it was junk? ;>

By wempa on 5/12/2010 1:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with a lot of what you say. Regardless of all that, these numbers they use are still MEANINGLESS. First off, how do you calculate this ? Do you ask people via a survey or do you track downloads ? Either method obviously has flaws. Not to mention, I had frieds who would download just about every game that was available but would rarely even get around to even playing most of them. They would have huge hard drives loaded up with games/programs that they never used and would eventually just delete. So, how do you count those ? The problem that I have with articles like this is that they use these ridiculously inflated numbers to justify other things like DRM.

By Anoxanmore on 5/11/2010 10:54:34 AM , Rating: 3
Basically it is the much poorer nations that pirate more.

Interesting and not surprising.

What you're all missing...
By RB1Kinobe on 5/11/2010 1:11:00 PM , Rating: 3
What everyone seems to be missing is a foreign perspective. I lived in Eastern Europe and you have to understand how the market works there to understand why Piracy is so rampant overseas. It actually has nothing to do with Bit Torrents and all that online sharing stuff (although it does happen).

When you go to a market in Russia or China, you might see a few versions of official software being sold at a regular retail price, but literally right next to it will be a cheaper version (pirated) being sold for $5. There are mafias and criminal undergrounds that control the flow of all the pirated software and sell it for much cheaper, and their distribution is far greater than the traditional software companies - you can buy pirated movies and software on every street corner - they have immense market penetration.

People are actually buying the software, but "capitalism" in action simply shows that people would rather pay $5 for a fake version that $50 for a real version when put side by side. If the software companies sold their goods at market value ($5 in countries like Russian and China) and made it as easy to sell them on every street corner as it is to sell the fake ones, then all that money would be theirs.

Yes, people in other countries may save up $2000 to buy a really nice laptop or pc, but they certainly don't have enough money to spend US equivalent retail price on basic software. When someone in Russia or Ukraine buys a $2000 computer, they don't eat for a week and they don't buy any new clothes for months. I've been there, I know how it works. "Entertainment products" will always be cheap in those countries - you have to match the market value of your product if you want to sell it to individuals, and you have to distribute it as much as the pirates do.

Yeah, Right
By mgilbert on 5/11/2010 11:17:23 AM , Rating: 2
$50 Billion? The vast majority would not purchase the software, if they couldn't get a pirated copy. I feel that businesses who profit from the use of software should pay for it. Home users should be able to get free, or very inexpensive copies of otherwise expensive software. Many home users enjoy playing around with software. They would never buy the expensive titles. There are too many free alternatives out there.

Real Numbers Please
By ImJustSaying on 5/11/2010 11:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
So what is this as a percentage of the industry's profit? This is a little over $50 billion worldwide . Obviously profits are higher, or the industry wouldn't exist. I think the intentional omission of industry profit is instructive of the skewed argument that the industry is making...or just an indication of bad journalism (maybe the question wasn't asked to begin with.) Either way, I'm always skeptical of articles, like this one, that leave out key information.

By Xarthos on 5/11/2010 1:43:33 PM , Rating: 2
This all becomes clear when you look at a good pc software product like Starcraft. How many copies did you buy. I can say that when my disks went bad I bought it again. When a collection with Brood Wars came out I bought that too. Good products sell. I don't think anyone would claim they made a mistake buying starcraft right?
I'm sure there are some who didn't buy it and I probably paid for them with my duplicate purchase. I'm also sure that posters here probably bought at least one copy if you were a pc gamer at the time it came out. This concept of massive piracy problems is really incorrect and is probably going to be the death of lan gaming as we move forward and people continue to support the idea that there is some massive piracy problem.

Per Capita Income
By DrApop on 5/11/2010 2:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, so let's look where the piracy is at:

Georgia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Moldova, Armenia, and Yemen. Who in those countries can afford to pay $495 for MS Office, Adobe acrobat, SQL server, development wonder they pirate software.

And if the cost of those products is significantly less than what we in the US pay for it then perhaps we need an article on how we are supplementing everyone elses software needs with money out of our pocket.

Overstate Much?
By Tuor on 5/11/2010 2:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much was lost to people who otherwise would have bought the software if it wasn't available through pirating?

All in all, the number given seems meaningless to me, except as a way to try to over-state the problem.

Oh, the humanity!...
By kroker on 5/11/2010 4:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
It's such a tragedy that money which should be payed to multi-billion dollar companies instead go to meaningless stuff like food, rent, raising kids etc...

The thing is, without piracy, many people around the world would either use free software or they wouldn't use computers at all. So is this what these companies want? Is there any point to all of this whining?

Artifical Money
By gorehound on 5/11/2010 5:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
I do not believe this figure.It is just more Industry BS.So if someone downloads that must mena they would of bought this stuff.I doubt it very much sirs.Just because they download does not mean they even had any money to buy any of this software.
Artificailly inflated numbers by purpose.

By camylarde on 5/12/2010 7:00:54 AM , Rating: 2
... And where do you think these money went instead? 50B thats a pretty nice sum, which industry is profitting from these lost sales? Sue them!

No? You say you can't find where these 50B went?

That's cuz they never existed in the first place dears...

Im always amused when i see a new report of this kind. They are so serious, but based on so obviously false data, their only purpose is to spread fear and chaos, and "increase public awareness" how piracy is bad.

Piracy can be good for companies
By jmsstl on 5/12/2010 9:42:52 AM , Rating: 2
And how much do software companies and such gain with piracy?

Sometime ago I installed in a small company Open Office. A few days after, they had to buy Office 2003, because people didn't know how to work with OO. It was "different", nothing about missing features here. Just that everyone has a pirated copy at home, that they wouldn't buy. But it's free and they prefer it to OO, so they only know how to use it.

Microsoft knew this a long time ago, and this is why windows/office is so easy to pirate. They want you to have it, whatever the way, so they can keep the installed base.

Music/video is the same. Would you buy a 64GB iPod if you had to pay all the music to fill it? Would you spend 5k$ in a home theather to watch 1 or 2 blu-ray movies once in a while?

Piracy helps and creates critical mass for a lot of things. If it didn't exist, Linux would have a much, much higher penetration, as would Open Office, and DRM would never been a issue because open standards would win easily.

By derricker on 5/12/2010 10:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
Not only how much are their imaginary loses?

How much money are they putting in their pockets??? another 50bn?? 100bn???

How much are their running costs???

They are so quick to play the victim card over and over and over, well, if the CEOs paycheck didn't equal to all the employee's paycheck in the whole company, maybe they wouldn't have to be worrying about how much their are losing anyway.

Give me moderately priced, drm free, quality insured software (and music and movies and books etc...) and you will earn a customer, but how the heck do they expect me to spent whatever amount in a game coming from a company with a track record of shutting down their online servers in as little as a year? (sometimes less)

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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