Study shows software piracy declining in many countries

Study shows software piracy declining in many countries

Among those showing improvement is the US

What Has Changed and What Hasn't

Even with the billions of dollars in estimated losses for the software industry, the report does reveal that some anti-piracy efforts are working. "This study shows that government and industry anti-piracy efforts are working in many countries, however, their attention will increasingly turn to combating piracy in emerging economies," notes John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC, in the BSA press announcement.

The study found that a couple of market factors were contributing to an increase in the piracy rates. First were the market dynamics in the PC segment, where the fastest growth is in the consumer and small business sectors. "These are the hardest sectors in which to lower piracy," the report notes. Second was expanded Internet and broadband access. "With approximately 700 million people expected to go online for the first time between 2008 to 2012, 76 per cent of them will be in emerging markets," the report states. "Access to pirated software will continue to shift from the streets to the Internet."

On the other side, the study found that several market factors were actually helping to decrease piracy rates. First was the increasing prevalence of globalization among countries in emerging markets. Second was the growth in technical protection measures (such as digital rights management, or DRM) that software developers are building into their products. And third was the rise in new software distribution models such as software-as-a-service.

"Experience has shown that the 'blueprint' for reducing software piracy includes education, smart government policies, effective enforcement and legalization programs," the BSA's Holleyman said in the press announcement. "In short, we know what works, and we're going in the right direction through collaboration with governments. That said, it is important for BSA and its members to expand our campaigns and outreach, and government support and involvement is critical."

Note: IDC has the same parent company as this publication, IDG.

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