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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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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.

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