Half of All PC Users Get Software Illegally
It took millions of people around the world to steal $59 billion worth of PC software last year by installing unlicensed copies in homes, businesses, government agencies, and other enterprises.
Who were they, and what explained their illegal behavior?
In the past, we have had to guess. But now we know, thanks to the most extensive research effort ever undertaken on attitudes toward software piracy and intellectual property rights.
BSA commissioned Ipsos Public Affairs to survey approximately 15,000 computer users in 32 countries, and the findings were striking:
- Nearly half of the world's computer users (47 percent) acquire their software by illegal means most or all of the time.
- In developing countries, the figures are even higher. In China, for example, 86 percent of PC users are regular software pirates. In Nigeria, it is 81 percent. In Vietnam, it is 76 percent.
- Business decision-makers are just as likely to be software pirates as other PC users, which is troubling because enterprise settings account for a disproportionate share of the dollar value of global software piracy.
- Many of the world's software pirates may not even realize the ways they are acquiring software are typically illegal, which underscores the importance of concerted public-education and enforcement campaigns.
Taken together, the survey data paint a statistical portrait of today's archetypal software pirate: He is likely to be an 18- to 34-year-old man who lives in China, works at a company with less than 100 employees, and uses a computer in his job.
In his attitudes and behaviors toward intellectual property rights and software, he is a walking contradiction, supporting IP principles and preferring legal software in theory, yet getting most of his software illegally because he doesn't understand what is okay and what isn't. He also appears to be affected by his surroundings. For example, he believes software piracy is commonplace, and he thinks it is unlikely people who steal software will be caught.
It is shocking that nearly half the world's PC users are regular software pirates. But it is also encouraging that most pirates acquire their software legally at least some of the time, because it suggests they can be persuaded to do so consistently.
Never before have we had such clear and convincing evidence of the need for industry and governments to redouble their public-education efforts and send stronger deterrent signals to the marketplace with vigorous enforcement of IP laws.
Click here to download the white paper.
BSA CTOs and Federal Counterparts Brainstorm Software Solutions to Grow the Economy and Create Jobs
How can government do more with less? With a tight federal budget and faltering economic recovery, that question comes up in just about every policy discussion these days in Washington.
Answers are usually hard to come by.
But the top technologists from nine BSA member companies offered three big ideas to their federal counterparts during BSA's annual CTO Forum on September 12 - 13:
- Capture new efficiencies by accelerating deployment of cloud-computing solutions.
- Spur technology innovation throughout the economy by strengthening intellectual property protections at home and abroad.
- Harness software as a green-energy solution.
BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman gives an overview of the meetings and provides details on each of these ideas in a series of blog posts covering cloud computing, strengthening IP protection, and green energy, respectively.
Read those and more on BSA TechPost.