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PC Software Piracy Decreases Worldwide, But Remains Rampant


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A new report published by The Software Alliance shows that usage of pirated PC software is decreasing worldwide. While this is a positive trend for the industry, piracy remains rampant in many countries. This includes Libya, where a massive 90 percent of all software is used without permission.




For more than two decades, The Software Alliance (BSA) has supported major software companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, and Symantec in their battle against piracy.


The industry group is involved in legal action and lobbying efforts, but it also keeps an eye on the latest developments in the use of pirated software.


This week BSA published the latest edition of its “Global Software Survey” which reveals the various piracy rates around the world. According to the report there’s good news since software piracy is decreasing.

The survey, which only looks at PC software, shows that piracy rates worldwide dropped to 37 percent in 2017, down from 39 percent two years earlier. The commercial value of the pirated software dropped by 8 percent, to $46.3 billion globally.


While this is a positive sign for the industry, BSA tempers the optimism by pointing out that piracy remains widespread.


“Despite a global two-point drop in unlicensed software installation rates during the last two years, unlicensed software is still being used around the globe at alarming rates, accounting for 37 percent of software installed on personal computers.


“Although the overall commercial value of unlicensed software has also been declining, the majority of all countries in the survey still have unlicensed rates of 50 percent or higher,” BSA notes.

The organization has a point. Looking at the various piracy rates we see enormous differences from country to country.


In the US, for example, ‘only’ 16 percent of software is used without permission, but in other parts of the world, rates are well over 80 percent. In countries where the average consumer has little money to spend, piracy rates are often very high.


This includes many African countries, such as Libya, where 90 percent of all software is used without permission. The same is true for Eastern Europe and Asia, where Armenia, Belarus, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and others have piracy rates above 80 percent.


Piracy rates in the Asia Pacific and Central/Eastern Europe regions



According to BSA, these high piracy rates hinder economic growth. At the same time, they could also subject people to malware risks, as more pirated software is correlated with more malware, the group warns.


“These high rates don’t just delay the local economic benefits that are associated with thriving technology use, they impede growth in a company’s bottom line and induce unprecedented security risks,” BSA notes.

Interestingly, not everyone sees piracy as something inherently bad.


Previously, BSA’s own numbers were used by the African Governance and Development Institute to show that piracy increases literacy and the spread of knowledge.


Similarly, in 2007 Traian Băsescu, Romania’s President at the time, said that piracy actually helped locals to develop computer skills.


“Piracy helped the young generation discover computers. It helped Romanians improve their creative capacity in the IT industry, which has become famous around the world,” he told Bill Gates.


BSA clearly sees things differently. To reduce piracy even further the organization hammers on the security risks, while encouraging governments to modernize laws, facilitate enforcement, and increase public awareness.

A copy of The Software Alliance’s latest Global Software Survey is available here (pdf).



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Good information.  Now the next time someone complains about the US Government banning software from a certain company in a certain country I'll just ask why they don't buy software from that company since users there steal $1.3 Billion dollars worth of software in a year.

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3 hours ago, straycat19 said:

Good information.  Now the next time someone complains about the US Government banning software from a certain company in a certain country I'll just ask why they don't buy software from that company since users there steal $1.3 Billion dollars worth of software in a year.

Most likely it's because most piracy have shifted over to android is due to the decline and windows is a dying platform  ..   I dont even need to pirate software when on Linux or do i need Adobe, Microsoft, and Symantec. I can live without flash.  I dont even use Symantec or Adobe on Windows.. i dont ever use there products or do i ever pirate anything from MircoShaft . Why do you blame one country on the worlds piracy debt ?  Why did the USA Government even be using this software to begin with is  the million dollar question ? They didn't ban it for home use and for USA pirates that are losing interest in Windows what they ban don't matter to us we just crack it and use it anyway.   :lol:


Poor people who dont have the money to buy software there not going to get a sale off them if it only cost $1 regardless of what country make it, or what country ban it. I'm not rich and i cant  afford to buy everything and I'm very careful what i buy, if it can be cracked or be replaced  with free / open source it's not worth buying to me . Only reason i never pirate windows is because i buy PCs and windows came in the price . Now that they came out with Windows 10 i have legit digital LIC on 3 of my pcs and don't use it on any of them . Only software  i buy  it has to be cross platform software were it work on Windows and Linux. If they dont want to support my OS  of chocie  i will just used cracked while on Windows are use a giveaway / free alternative  . 


After all Microsoft are the ones that allows piracy  on there platform  in the past it was so people would not switch  to Linux and soon as companies with as much money as they have put Linux in a OS most of the DEVs left and went to Android  . Windows phone was  a failure so M$ even shifted to making software for Android. If you can't beat them join them and the Crackers just followed the money . Most software on windows have been around since the 90s unless it's cross platform . Back in 2007 when most everyone still used XP Windows software devolvement was jumping but they not sold very much since they forced all there users to buy Windows 7 expect for the ones who pirated it of course.


Windows 8/8.1 was a failure so they came out with Windows 10 were collects data and has ads  and they get paid regardless if you pirate it  or not. It's the biggest pile of crap i ever did see for a shareware OS.  Android collects data and has ads and that's were M$ got the idea but its a free OS they don't even charge vendors for it .  Today its no longer about charging money unless you charge them to remove ads or something. In 2018 it's all about getting you to opt in to there data mining so they can get around the EU data laws.


Even Office 365  witch is one of  Microsoft biggest sellers most consumers dont buy it anymore because its rentware . They use a free cloud office or old office or some other alternative. It's businesses that keep Microsoft going not home users they  are the ones that are forced to use there stuff, we as home users we have a choice. We can use Linux , Android or Old Windows and out dated programs tell dooms day  and the world want stop turning tell dooms day comes .  :smoke:


Also what they forget to say in those poor countries in Africa  they also have  less windows users . The country  with the most Android users  is in Africa  because they can buy a cheap phone for almost nothing and Android has some good free apps even if they have ads and it's very easy for crackers to remove them.

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Yes you are right, these studies always fail to understand that not everyone can pay the same amount. Gross domestic product and average wage need to be accounted for. When a person needs to work 10 hours for a program in country A and another needs to work 10 weeks for it in country B you can hardly say they would ever have purchased it.


Edit: With software moving into the cloud they can see from which country you use it and only allow cheap keys to be used in the correct country.

Win 10 Pro is 14228 rupees in India, that is $ 212 in a country where a person makes $ 616 annual per capita. Just shaking my head.

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5 hours ago, DrGopnik said:

Win 10 Pro is 14228 rupees in India, that is $ 212 in a country where a person makes $ 616 annual per capita. Just shaking my head.

Raison d'etre of Nsaneforums.   ;)

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Piracy is here to stay ☠️. Software companies are really trying to outsmart them. Who will win then? We'll see ☺️

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