57 percent of PC owners have pirated software, says study

If you own a PC, a new survey says the chances are good that you have obtained some kind of pirated software. The Business Software Alliance reports that in its ninth annual survey of PC users, 57 percent of them admit to have acquired paid software via some kind of pirate source. The BSA claims that in 2011, the total amount of pirated software was worth $63.4 billion, up from $58.8 billion in 2010.

BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman states:

If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift, authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a similarly forceful response — concerted public education and vigorous law enforcement.

Developing countries tend to have more activity on the pirated software front with 68 percent of users in those territories admitting to receiving pirated software, versus just 24 percent in more mature countries and markets. It's not a shock to learn that China is the biggest country in terms of software piracy. The survey claims that Chinese citizens pay just $8.89 for legal PC software products.

It's also not surprising to learn that the biggest age and gender group for pirated software are "disproportionately young and male". People who do pirate software also tend to use software more. The survey says that pirates install 55 percent more software on their PCs compared to non-pirates.

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