Software Piracy on the Rise

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The sixth annual Business Software Alliance study of worldwide software piracy has found that software piracy grew in 2000 for the first time in more than six years. Thirty-seven percent of software programs used by businesses are illegal, pirated copies.

It is estimated that software makers lost $11.75 billion in 2000 due to piracy practices. Reasons cited for the increase in software piracy include the proliferation of inexpensive devices that can write CD-ROMS and the availability of authentication codes on Internet Web sites.

To cut down on the amount of software piracy, Microsoft plans to institute an online product activation sequence for its forthcoming Office XP and Windows XP products. Users will be able to use the program for a brief trial period, but then will have to allow an online scan of their hardware in order to continue to use the program.

North America has the lowest rate of software piracy at 25%, according to the study. The top 10 regions for software piracy in 2000 and their piracy rates are:

  1. Vietnam, 97%
  2. China 94%
  3. Indonesia 89%
  4. Ukraine/Other CIS 89%
  5. Russia 88%
  6. Lebanon 83%
  7. Pakistan 83%
  8. Bolivia 81%
  9. Qatar 81%
  10. Bahrain 80%

North American software companies experienced the third highest losses from piracy, estimated at $2.9 billion. These losses were surpassed by Asia/Pacific with losses of more than $4.1 billion, and Western Europe with losses of more than $3.1 billion.

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