Half of the world are software pirates, according to study

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A new study made by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) have found that almost half of computer users admit that they’ve pirated software. The report, BSA’s ninth annual Global Software Piracy Study, asked 15,000 computer users from 33 countries around the world the question “how often do you acquire pirated software or software that is not fully licensed?” and sheds insight on the piracy habits of people. The report says that  57% of global PC users use and acquire pirated software which is an increase from 42% in 2011. Unsurprisingly, the report says that piracy rates are highest in emerging markets.

“The users who say they pirate software most frequently are disproportionately young and male — and they install more software of all types on their computers than do infrequent pirates or non-pirates,” the report says. “This year’s survey finds that frequent pirates — people who admit they acquire unlicensed software all of the time, most of the time, or occasionally — also are the most voracious software users. They report installing 55 percent more programs of all types on their computers than do non-pirates. This gives them an outsized impact on the global piracy rate.”

Unfortunately, the report doesn’t recognize the link between high prices of software to global piracy, and the need to make pricing tiers to help curb piracy. A report done by the Social Science Research Council concludes that media piracy can’t be halted by stringent enforcement of IP, and describes the issue as more of a global pricing problem. It makes sense if you think about it – a piece of software that’s priced at $60 in the US isn’t a viable purchase in poor, developing nations like the Philippines, so most of the time people pirate software instead of buying it.

Source: BSA