Print 83 comment(s) - last by McGixxer.. on May 13 at 11:15 AM

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.


Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

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.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
Related Articles
China Convicts 11 in Software Piracy Case
January 2, 2009, 11:48 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki