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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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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.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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