Rise in businesses using pirate software

According to the BSA’s seventh annual survey, 40% of business software installed last year was pirated – that is up from 37% in 2000. The latest rise marks the first time that rate has risen two years in a row.

In a bittersweet pill for the software industry, the financial damage from the rise in pirate software in 2001 was nearly one billion dollars less than in 2000. Last years losses were estimated to be $10.97bn (£7.35bn) down from $11.75bn (£7.88bn) the year before. That fall was the result of a steady decline in the value of much of the software as well as the downturn in IT spending.

In the BSA study, Eastern Europe was found to have the highest piracy rates, while Vietnam was the worst offending country with an estimated piracy rate of 94%. Despite lower piracy rates, North America, Asia/Pacific and Western Europe once again accounted for the bulk of the lost revenues comprising 85% of global losses.

North America continued to be the region with the lowest piracy rate at 26%, but even that was up one percentage point from 25% in 2000. Total losses due to software piracy in the United States were more than $1.8bn, down from $2.6bn in 2000.

Meanwhile, Western Europe continued to be the region with the second lowest piracy rate, at 37%, but it experienced the second highest dollar losses, totalling nearly $2.7bn, accounting for 24% of the total global losses due to software piracy.

According to the BSA, the majority of offenders tend to be small and mid-sized businesses that look for cheap or free software to run their computer operations.

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