The Business Software Alliance Claims PC Users Are Ignorant Thieves And Hypocrites

Brad Chacos

Almost half of the computer users in the world are criminals; no good, stinkin’ pirates who pilfer programs they don’t hold the proper licenses for. At least, that’s what the Business Software Alliance (a trade group whose entire purpose is stopping the use of pirated software) says after conducting a 15,000 user study in 32 countries.  You’re probably a hypocrite, too – at least according to the BSA numbers.

That’s because the study showed that 47 percent of users acquire software illegally most or all of the time despite the fact that 71 percent of folks say they support intellectual property rights. Businesses are just as likely to use pirated software as individuals. The BSA doesn’t point fingers and call people names the entire time, though; they oh-so-graciously say that most users are pirates out of ignorance rather than malice. Thanks!

There’s plenty of statistical info to be found in both a BSA blog post and a white paper they drew up to trumpet their claims , but here’s some juicy tidbits: the five countries with the highest rate of piracy are China (86 percent), Nigeria (82 percent), Vietnam (76 percent), the Ukraine (69 percent) and Malaysia (68 percent). The US doesn’t fare that well in the polls, either; the BSA says only China has more pirate-touched computers in operation today, and 35 percent of American respondents admitted to rarely paying for software.

The BSA calls using software without a license “The $59 Billion Heist” and claims that software publishers lost – duh! – $59 billion due to piracy in 2010. Since it’s the BSA’s job to say that, feel free to take the findings in the report with a grain of salt.

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