Software Piracy on the Wane, Says Anti-Piracy Group
Global piracy rates dropped last year to 39%, according to figures collected by the UK's anti-piracy Business Software Alliance (BSA).
The lost revenue this represents to firms making the software being pirated rose 19% to more than $13bn, says the BSA, quoted in a June 4 BBC (British Broadcasting Corp) story.
However, "The UK bucked global trends as its businesses used slightly more pirated software than in previous years," it pointed out.
North America and Western Europe had the lowest global piracy rates. Only 24% of business software in the US was pirated compared to 35% in Europe, but for the first time in seven years, the number of UK firms using pirated software had risen.
Figures gathered by BSA show that 26% of the software used in the UK companies is pirated. Last year the figure was 25%. The BSA put the rise down to companies trying to cut costs as the hi-tech slowdown bites.
"There may possibly be an issue with the current economic recession with some people under-licencing to make precious IT budgets go further," said Richard Saunders, former chairman of the BSA. He said that the growth of broadband net access was also making it easier to download stolen software.
"The rise in the UK is set against a broader background of falling piracy rates around the world," the announcement states. "The Middle East/Africa has shown the most significant reduction in the amount of pirated software. In 1994 when the BSA began measuring piracy rates, eight out of every 10 business software packages in Middle Eastern and African nations were pirated. Now the rate is 49%.
"This region is also home to the nation showing the greatest fall in piracy rates. The United Arab Emirates has trimmed piracy to only 36% in 2002 from 86% in 1994."
GLOBAL PIRACY RATES
Middle East/Africa - 49%
Latin America - 55%
Western Europe - 35%
Eastern Europe - 71%
Asia Pacific - 55%
North America - 24%