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Piracy rates are the highest in developing nations

Piracy in the digital goods market runs rampant. Music piracy is what typically comes to mind when many consumers think piracy, but software is one of the categories that is targeted by pirates the most. The reason is that software like Windows operating systems and Office productivity suites are desired by many, but the high price puts them out of the reach of users particularly in developing nations.

A new joint report from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and research firm IDC has found that losses to software companies from pirated products have topped the $50 billion mark for the first time ever.

According to the report, headway against piracy is being made by companies, law enforcement officials and governments, but in some areas -- like the U.S. -- anti-piracy efforts have stalled. The sixth annual BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study found that in 2008 the PC software piracy rate dropped in 57% of 110 countries included in the study. Nearly a third of the countries studied found that the software piracy rate remained the same.

The study claims that the worldwide piracy rate rose for the second year in a row moving from 36% to 41%. The rise in global piracy is mainly attributed to PC shipments growing the fastest in countries like China and India where piracy is much more rampant. China has recently cracked down on software pirates and convicted 11 for pirating Microsoft software.

BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman said, "The bad news is that PC software piracy remains so prevalent in the United States and all over the world. It undermines local IT service firms, gives illegal software users an unfair advantage in business, and spreads security risks. We should not and cannot tolerate a $9 billion hit on the software industry at a time of economic stress."

EWeek reports that the study does note that the global recession has affected the piracy rate to some extent. IDC chief research officer John Gantz said that consumers are keeping old computers longer in the current economy and consumers that hold onto old computers are more likely to install pirated software on the machines.

Gantz said, "Reduced buying power is only one of many factors affecting software piracy. The economic crisis will have an impact – part of it negative, part of it positive – but it may not become fully apparent until the 2009 figures come in."

The positive aspect according to Gantz is that the reduced buying power of the average consumer has them looking at netbooks, which are often bundled with legitimate copies of software. IDC predicts that the piracy rate will only increase with 460 million new internet users coming online in emerging markets over the next five years. These emerging markets are where piracy is most rampant with as much as 90% of software installed on computers being pirated versions.

The countries with the lowest levels of piracy according to the study were the U.S., Japan, New Zealand, and Luxembourg -- all with piracy rates near 20%. The countries with the highest percentage of piracy included Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, and Zimbabwe -- all with piracy rates over 90%.

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RE: Not Lost Sales
By VashHT on 5/12/2009 2:08:54 PM , Rating: 3
OpenOffice can not do everything office can, at least when I tried it I couldn't. My last year of college I used it, but when I had to make trendlines for some of my labs I found out that OO spreadsheet didn't have that capability. It is really nice, but it can't replace office for everything.

RE: Not Lost Sales
By Bender 123 on 5/12/2009 2:30:56 PM , Rating: 3
I actually had a similar problem in college (thousands of years ago...). Open Office cant do everything, but it does 98% of it with flying colors. For the few of us suicidal enough to major in statistics or finance, you are better off with true dedicated software for the purpose (minitab, etc...).

My point is, if you are not going to be needing the power of the purchased options, the open source world will address your needs. Just like PS...99% of the people out there can get along fine with the free stuff, but those using the software for a living are going to want to pay for it.

RE: Not Lost Sales
By joex444 on 5/13/2009 12:10:08 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, dude, this is so simple.

Instead of Excel, use OriginLab. Way the hell better, its what you see in all the professional scientific journals anyways.

As for your actual lab writeups, you'd be a fool to use anything but LaTeX. At the advanced undergraduate level I don't think using Word or a word processing software is appropriate for anything remotely scientific and/or supposed to look professional. Yeah, there's a learning curve with LaTeX, but its so worth it. Sometimes I even use it for simple documents, and there are many resume classes built-in. If you have Linux, it's probably already installed; for Windows try out MikTeX.

RE: Not Lost Sales
By erple2 on 5/14/2009 2:28:39 AM , Rating: 2
I would probably have researched what a trendline was (ie search for "linear regression howto"), written up an equation that makes that data given the known data and your current x-y data, and plotted that curve as a separate set of values. Also, that capability has been with OOo since about 2.4.

I understand that it's a bit tedious to do. But it gives you that wonderful sense of accomplishment!


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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