Over Half of World’s Computer Users Admit to Pirating Software

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Well over half the world’s personal computer users — 57 percent — admit they acquire pirated software, the Business Software Alliance reported today in the ninth-annual BSA Global Software Piracy Study. Some users say they pirate all or most of the time, according to the study. Others say they do it occasionally or rarely. The net effect fueled a global software piracy rate of 42 percent last year.

The commercial value of all this pirated software climbed from $58.8 billion in 2010 to $63.4 billion in 2011, a new record, propelled by PC shipments to emerging economies where piracy rates are highest.

“If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift, authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a similarly forceful response — concerted public education and vigorous law enforcement,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman.

Overall, the study found that piracy rates in emerging markets tower over those in mature markets — 68 percent to 24 percent, on average — and emerging markets account for an overwhelming majority of the global increase in the commercial value of software theft. This is because emerging economies are rapidly extending their influence over the global PC market. (They took in 56 percent of last year’s shipments.) It is also because frequent pirates in emerging economies install nearly four times more software per new PC than their counterparts in the developed world.

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