Half world’s PC users steal most of their software

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

peer-to-peer networks.

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

100 staff.

“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.”