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Nearly half the world’s PC users acquire software illegally most or all of the time

Sep 15, 2011 5:22:39 PM - www.ft.lk

BSA commissioned 32-country study reports ‘points to opportunity for education, enforcement’

Nearly half the world’s personal computer users — 47 percent — acquire software through illegal means most or all of the time, and in developing economies the figures are much higher, according to the most extensive survey ever undertaken on PC users’ behaviours and attitudes toward software piracy and intellectual property rights.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) this week released detailed findings from the groundbreaking study on its official blog, BSA TechPost. Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the research for BSA by surveying approximately 15,000 PC users in 32 countries. This included 400 to 500 in-person or online interviews per country.
The study finds that large majorities of computer users in the developing world regularly acquire software through illegal means – such as buying a single license for a programme and then installing it on multiple machines, or downloading programmes from peer-to-peer networks — even though they express support for intellectual property principles.
Of the 32 countries surveyed, nine are in the Asia-Pacific region. Six of those — China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea — were found to have individual piracy rates ranking among the top 10 of all countries surveyed.
The study finds that significant majorities of software pirates in developing markets incorrectly believe that typically illegal means of acquiring software are, in fact, legal. At the same time, they believe software piracy is common, and they think it is unlikely that software pirates will be caught.
Critically, business decision-makers around the world exhibit behaviours that are similar to those of other computer users. Five Asia-Pacific countries were found to have business decision-maker piracy rates ranking among the top 10 of all countries surveyed.
“It took hundreds of millions of thieves to steal $59 billion worth of software last year. Now we have a better understanding of what they were thinking,” said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. “The evidence is clear: The way to lower software piracy is by educating businesses and individuals about what is legal – and ramping up enforcement of intellectual property laws to send clearer deterent signals to the marketplace.”
Lyn Boxall, Managing Director, BSA Asia-Pacific said, “Interestingly, the study points to the fact that many pirates may not even realise they are betraying their own principles and breaking the law. BSA is committed to a program that focusses on creating further awareness and greater respect for intellectual property rights (IPR) of both foreign as well as local products. We firmly believe a stronger IPR regime will benefit Asian economies as the  IT industry plays an increasingly significant part of the regions’s growth.”
(The Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of nearly 100 world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward. BSA members include Adobe, Agilent Technologies, Apple, Aquafold, ARM, Arphic Technology, Autodesk, AVEVA, AVG, Bentley Systems, CA Technologies, Cadence, Cisco, CNC/Mastercam, Compuware, Corel, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, Dell, Intel, Intuit, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Mentor Graphics Corporation, Microsoft, Minitab, NedGraphics, Orbotech, PTC, Progress Software, Quark, Quest Software, Rosetta Stone, Siemens, Sybase, Symantec, and The MathWorks.)

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