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Study shows software piracy declining in many countries

Study shows software piracy declining in many countries

Among those showing improvement is the US

The results from the Business Software Alliance's fifth-annual study on global software piracy revealed some statistics that would put a smile on any software company executive's face: Of the 108 countries that are covered in the recently released report, the use of pirated software dropped in 67 countries. In just eight countries did the piracy rate increase.

For example, Russia's PC software piracy rate dropped seven points to 73 per cent. (In the study, piracy rate is defined as the total number of units of pirated software deployed in 2007 divided by the total units of software installed.) "Russia's piracy rate is still high, but it is decreasing at a fast pace as a result of [software] legalization programs, government engagement and enforcement, user education and an improved economy," states the BSA study's findings. (A copy of the ].)

Many low-piracy regions, such as the United States, United Kingdom and Austria, showed decreases (though they weren't huge) in their piracy rates. The three lowest-piracy countries were the United States (20 per cent), Luxembourg (21 per cent) and New Zealand (22 per cent). The study also found that many developed economies continued to show gradual declines, including Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and Taiwan.

PC Software Piracy Rankings, 2007

The Business Software Alliance ranks the countries where software piracy is the worst for PC software vendors, and those where conditions are best.

The worst:

  • 1. Armenia
  • 2. Bangladesh
  • 3. Azerbaijan
  • 4. Moldova
  • 5. Zimbabwe
  • 6. Sri Lanka
  • 7. Yemen
  • 8. Libya
  • 9. Venezuela
  • 10. Vietnam

The best:

  • 1. US
  • 2. Luxembourg
  • 3. New Zealand
  • 4. Japan
  • 5. Austria
  • 6. Belgium
  • 7. Denmark
  • 8. Finland
  • 9. Sweden
  • 10. Switzerland

Market research company IDC conducted the study on behalf of the BSA, an international association that represents software vendors and their hardware partners, and pursues companies that use pirated software. The BSA's "Report Software Piracy Now" campaign, which promises up to US$1 million reward for "qualifying reports," is one way in which it goes after corporate offenders.

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