Nearly half the world’s PC users get most or all of their software
illegally, according to the Business Software Alliance – twice as many in some developing countries.
In a survey carried out for the BSA, Ipsos Public Affairs quizzed
15,000 PC users in 32 countries.It found that that a significant
majority of computer users in the developing world regularly acquire
software through illegal means.
This includes buying a single license for a program and then
installing it on multiple machines or downloading programs from
In China, 86 percent of users said they always or nearly always
acquired software illegally. Other big piraters included Nigeria,
Vietnam, Ukraine, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South
Korea and Mexico.
According to the BSA, pirates in developing markets often believe that
they’re acting perfectly legally. Attitudes amongst businesses were
much the same as those of personal users.
The BSA’s put together a profile of the typical pirate – an
18-to-34-year-old Chinese man who works at a company with fewer than
“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’s okay and what isn’t,”
says BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman.
“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.”