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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Only 57%? lol.

I like how they compare piracy to shoplifting, as they always do. It's so lame and inaccurate.

And with the billions of dollars that they value the pirated software at, they think that if piracy didn't exist then that entire amount would have been spent on the same software legally. No. I'd say at least 70% (or even more) of pirated software would not have been purchased if a pirated copy was not available.

Bull

It's an election year in the US, with new polling results published almost daily -- those polls all have one thing in common: for credibility they make their data available... in that respect the BSA is about as transparent as the average stone. Given their bias & the desired result this should not be surprising. BSA, like any other biz survives by pleasing their customers, & BSA's customers are software companies. Their "ninth-annual BSA Global Software Piracy Study" is no more, no less accurate than the sales pitch you'll get in the showroom of most any auto dealer world wide.

The article-linked page [at bsa.org] starts with: "Emerging markets drove the commercial value of software theft to a new record...", & later makes this statement: "... piracy rates in emerging markets tower over those in mature markets -- 68 percent to 24 percent, on average...". Holleyman [the BSA CEO] wants more law enforcement & higher penalties for anyone(s) caught [& assumed convicted] of using software illegally, as he was quoted saying illegal software use demands: ""... concerted public education and vigorous law enforcement..."".

The BSA CEO may/may not be an idiot, but his statements regarding shoplifting show an amazing amount of ignorance: ""If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift, authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties..."" Perhaps he has employees that handle such mundane tasks as actually shopping in a retail store? If he led a less sheltered life he'd know that police departments Do Not police private property, indeed cannot police private property, not just because of local & national laws, but because they simply don't have enough police officers to make that remotely possible. He'd know that one of the biggest reasons for more crime in certain neighborhoods is a lack of available police officers -- increasing the police force in the wealthier communities that can afford it does nothing for those poor neighborhoods with higher crime rates. Increasing penalties likewise increases costs -- whether you're talking jail time or fines, penalties have to be enforced & administered, jails have to be built, maintained, & run.

Long story short, while the BSA is obviously preaching to the choir, telling their customers what they think they want to hear, Holleyman would like more enforcement & higher penalties. Accomplishing that in the emerging markets the BSA blames means asking those countries to often act against their own self interest -- they do not want to add costs & other burdens to their growing biz communities, they do not want to add to their own law enforcement & judicial costs, & they don't want to discourage PC/laptop sales... they quite logically want to spend available resources growing their economies. While I'd hope & wish the BSA was just totally ignored, I'm afraid everyone else in established markets will wind up footing the bill, either in cash through our governments &/or through ever more intrusive/abusive DRM.

I usually start off with something that is pirated until I find a great open or free app. I also love quality donateware like Imgburn, etc. I have also paid for worthwhile apps that I use everyday. I like buying from small developers. I find high value in their products and you may times get a lifetime license. I pay for Trillian and will continue to do so as long as they don't sell off the company or they stop developing it. Winamp I use a lot and if it was owned by the original team I would of purchased it. Just my opinion. Cool article.


The internet is a free ride to some[most] people, where i come from i don't know ANYONE who pays for anything, i'm the go-to PC guy in my circle of friends so i know how many computers they have, what software they use and where they get it from. Every single digital thing they own is pirated, from Windows 7, to mp3s, movies, games, they openly share what they have with friends and family... probably totalling 1000s and 1000s of pounds.

Uplift said,
sniped.

Same here I used to have a copy of XP pro that may or may not have been used more then 10000 times with the same key

other than Windows 7 (wouldve been pirated if not for the MSDN acedemic alliance) WoW, and now Diablo 3 (also free thanks to the annual pass) I dont have any other "legit" software on my computer, hell even my norton is cracked

In this day and age a cracked AV is the LAST thing I would ever use. And with free AV's like Avast, MSE, Panda cloud etc combined with our understanding of internet safety, why bother?

Xerino said,
other than Windows 7 (wouldve been pirated if not for the MSDN acedemic alliance) WoW, and now Diablo 3 (also free thanks to the annual pass) I dont have any other "legit" software on my computer, hell even my norton is cracked

why u pirate AV? there's tons of good and free AVs around

Morden said,

why u pirate AV? there's tons of good and free AVs around

Agree 100% -- that holds true for all sorts of other apps as well.

mikiem said,

Agree 100% -- that holds true for all sorts of other apps as well.

exactly... I don't think I should be proud to have a fully clean computer (software-wise), it's just the fact that if I want something I search the net for a free alternative

Does music count? Only thing I've ever "pirated"

There's a free version of what ever you're looking for out there some where.

cork1958 said,
Does music count? Only thing I've ever "pirated"

There's a free version of what ever you're looking for out there some where.

this is about software as I understand, so you're in the clear, as am i… music and video is another thing - since I've got zune music pass I don't even download music, as for videos, well, as soon as I can get something like the zune music pass for movie/television content i'd move in an instant

You see, when you get older you realise it's generally pointless wasting time getting cracked version to work, or, more to the point - a cracked/pirated piece of software doesn't always work as it should, but you rarely realise this and just assume it's buggy software.
I bought all my software fully legit after previously using pirated software. Why - because it works, doesn't cause issues, and saves me time and fking around on the PC when I could be doing other more enjoyable things.
For the use that expensive software like Photoshop and Office and Windows gets, it works out to not many cents per photo or document.
If you're pirating photoshop just to make the occasional lolcat... you're doing it wrong.

cleverclogs said,
You see, when you get older you realise it's generally pointless wasting time getting cracked version to work, or, more to the point - a cracked/pirated piece of software doesn't always work as it should, but you rarely realise this and just assume it's buggy software.
I bought all my software fully legit after previously using pirated software. Why - because it works, doesn't cause issues, and saves me time and fking around on the PC when I could be doing other more enjoyable things.
For the use that expensive software like Photoshop and Office and Windows gets, it works out to not many cents per photo or document.
If you're pirating photoshop just to make the occasional lolcat... you're doing it wrong.

Well... I would politely disagree... I buy my games and many times it happens that the original executable won't work or have weird restrictions like having to stay connected all the time. One example which comes to my mind is Crysis... it caused me a lot of headache...

cleverclogs said,
You see, when you get older you realise it's generally pointless wasting time getting cracked version to work, or, more to the point - a cracked/pirated piece of software doesn't always work as it should, but you rarely realise this and just assume it's buggy software.

Just FWIW... I'm disabled, can't work, & therefor I'm pretty much broke pretty much all of the time. Personally I've made the decision to not run apps illegally as possible -- by that I mean it's impossible to check many apps out without using an illegal version, software companies usually lie in their sales pitch, & I can't afford to just trust them. Once I check it out if I'm going to use it I find a way to buy it. But that's strictly my personal choice -- I know what it's like to be unable to afford something through no fault of your own, & I've just been lucky enough to find most of my software at very low cost on sale or use freeware & open source.

That said, I find I have to agree with psreloaded -- the amount of poorly written pay ware I've come across is alarming... even with major brands badly written code & bugs are the rule more than the exception. Often, e.g. Sony Creative, it's caused directly by some idiot trying to dream up some fool proof DRM... it took me hours to get my legal Sony apps working after switching to AHCI drives -- had I known I would have gone the far easier route that bypassed that DRM.

Sometimes, I have downloaded pirated software, installed it, just to see if I really like it, then uninstalled it, and bought it. With the price of some software, who wants to shell out 100 to 1000 dollars, only to find it won't do what you want it to do, and with some of the rules that companies have on software, you can't return it. If companies would adopt a more friendly "trialware" version, perhaps the piracy would go down. I've tried some trialware, but usually, they cripple it to the point it isn't really usable.

First off - Look at the source. Anyone who has financial or political interests on anything will always look at the numbers with a look to benefit them.

This 57% is like saying

- 80% of spouses fart in bed
- 52% of people only have sex to procreate
- 90% of people who have cars that go faster than 55 MPH speed when they get behind the wheel of a car
- 40% of people have never seen porn on the internet

etc, etc, etc....

Yes I completely made up those numbers but if it was in your best interest for one of those statements to be true, then you would "find a way" to have the data make those statements true.....

Sharing is Caring

Though there's that much great FOSS out there that even that's becoming obsolete (for software at least).

Some great FOSS you might want to check out:
The Gimp.
Inkscape (one of my personal favourites).
GLabels
LibreOffice
Deluge (Full stream encryption FTW)
DeVeDe
MPlayer (I couldn't live without this app)
Devhelp (If you want to develop glib/GTK apps this is a must)

Edited by simplezz, May 16 2012, 11:07pm :

simplezz said,
Sharing is Caring

Though there's that much great FOSS out there that even that's becoming obsolete (for software at least).

Some great FOSS you might want to check out:
The Gimp.
Inkscape (one of my personal favourites).
GLabels
LibreOffice
Deluge (Full stream encryption FTW)
DeVeDe
MPlayer (I couldn't live without this app)
Devhelp (If you want to develop glib/GTK apps this is a must)

But there are some Softwares you cant live without, because the FOSS alternatives dont provide same or sometimes even 6% of functionality. Having said that the FOSS i use are:

Inkscape ( just to play around, good for light vector stuff )
Gimp ( i keep it in my USB drive, because its small and does basic stuff )
VLC
MPC ( i cant live without it! )

Gimp...Basic?. It's been shown time and time again anything you can do in Photoshop you can do in Gimp. Stop spreading BS ktnxbye. Maybe you mean mtpaint.

Mike Frett said,
Gimp...Basic?. It's been shown time and time again anything you can do in Photoshop you can do in Gimp. Stop spreading BS ktnxbye. Maybe you mean mtpaint.

You are joking right? I would love to use Content aware in gimp, oh wait! it is not there. I would love to do 3d paint in Gimp, oh wait! its is not there. I would love to use all my plugins with gimp, oh wait! there is no gimp version! I would love to do tasks with less steps possible, oh wait! Gimp requires more time to do stuff than PS! I would love to do RAW editing in gimp, oh wait! Photoshop has the most advanced RAW processor I've seen, and the results of both its global and localized corrections are superb. RAW files are automatically processed nondestructively, and it's also easy to make further edits to the processed image without harming the original.
I want to do draw using my tablet in gimp, oh wait! there is no pressure sensitivity support in Gimp! Looks like they have in new version, but still not as smooth as PS.

Photoshop comes with all tools out of box, for gimp i need to download separate plugins to make it work for specific needs.

Stop spreading BS before trying both applications, kthnxbye.

one thing is still itching me, WTF is MTpaint??

simrat said,

But there are some Softwares you cant live without, because the FOSS alternatives dont provide same or sometimes even 6% of functionality. Having said that the FOSS i use are:

Inkscape ( just to play around, good for light vector stuff )
Gimp ( i keep it in my USB drive, because its small and does basic stuff )
VLC
MPC ( i cant live without it! )

Don't forget the likes of PeaZip (best damn free archiver around) and +1 for MPC-HC

Athlonite said,

Don't forget the likes of PeaZip (best damn free archiver around) and +1 for MPC-HC

I use 7zip, but peaZip is indeed great! i forgot to add MyPaint in my last comment, It replaced sketchbook pro for me, awesome program and free!

I'll admit it, I have downloaded software, if they didn't charge silly amounts for things like Office and Photoshop then I might have considered buying it.

Snoopy2005uk said,
I'll admit it, I have downloaded software, if they didn't charge silly amounts for things like Office and Photoshop then I might have considered buying it.

these silly amounts are too high.

Snoopy2005uk said,
I'll admit it, I have downloaded software, if they didn't charge silly amounts for things like Office and Photoshop then I might have considered buying it.

While I agree that Photoshop is really expensive, Office is not. You can get the Home & Student version for $100; which can be used on 3 computers.

soldier1st said,

these silly amounts are too high.
That's why they're silly.

The Dark Knight said,
You can get the Home & Student version for $100; which can be used on 3 computers.
You are in breach of the agreement if you are not a student.

The Dark Knight said,

No, it is for home use as well. That's why it says "Home" & Student.

So Office Professional can only be used by professionals?

The discount for "Home and Student" is ONLY for STUDENTS, not for homebodies. You must be a student. Rather in your case, you must not be a student or you'd know how to read the EULA and the terms of the discount...

KCRic said,
So Office Professional can only be used by professionals?

The discount for "Home and Student" is ONLY for STUDENTS, not for homebodies. You must be a student. Rather in your case, you must not be a student or you'd know how to read the EULA and the terms of the discount...

Wrong. Maybe you should learn to read what comes straight from Microsoft itself.

From Office FAQ site

Are there license restrictions to Office Home and Student 2010?
Yes. Office Home and Student 2010 is licensed only for non-commercial use by households. It cannot be used for any commercial, nonprofit, or revenue-generating activities, by schools or academic institutions, or by any government organization.
I'll translate that for you. It can be used by ANYONE in a household, NOT just students. And you don't have to be a student to legally purchase it.

"If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift, authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a similarly forceful response"

Okay... Would you download a candy bar? would you download a laptop? would you download a can of Coke?
Nice try BSA. Nice try

Ad Man Gamer said,
Okay... Would you download a candy bar? would you download a laptop? would you download a can of Coke?
"You wouldn't steal a car"...

Everything I've got installed is 100% obtained, downloaded from the internet...
In other words, everything is piracy except of some freeware programs such as Firefox.

And...
Oh please.... ONLY 57%? Are you kidding me?
At every house I have went, every PC/smartphone/tablet/YouNameIt I have used contains at least 1 software or program (whether it's OS, paid addon/program etc) that was obtained through illegal means

MariosX said,
Everything I've got installed is 100% obtained, downloaded from the internet...
In other words, everything is piracy except of some freeware programs such as Firefox.

And...
Oh please.... ONLY 57%? Are you kidding me?
At every house I have went, every PC/smartphone/tablet/YouNameIt I have used contains at least 1 software or program (whether it's OS, paid addon/program etc) that was obtained through illegal means


do you keep copies of the software?

soldier1st said,

do you keep copies of the software?

No I don't. I just do my job, delete it and uninstall it right away but still whatever I do without paying is piracy.

Mark said,
And why not? It's a victimless crime.
That's interesting. If there's no victim, is there a crime?

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Is getting trial keys forever on my own mail server considered piracy?

According the jury, keycodes can't be copyrighted.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Is getting trial keys forever on my own mail server considered piracy?

Probably not, do libraries penalize you for checking out the same book over and over?

THolman said,
Wonder if that includes abandonware...

Legally yes, if you have a downloaded copy of CP/M or Microsoft Bob you are part of the 57%.

I'm happy to say I'm in the 43%.

I've found a number of free/open alternatives that I would have otherwise been tempted to look in the darker corners of the net for.

"vigorous law enforcement" OK, but if your penalty for pirating apps is worse than drug posession, sexual offenses, DWI/DUI, murder or manslaughter... s**t is seriously f'd and out of line.

zeke009 said,
I'm happy to say I'm in the 43%.

I've found a number of free/open alternatives that I would have otherwise been tempted to look in the darker corners of the net for.

"vigorous law enforcement" OK, but if your penalty for pirating apps is worse than drug posession, sexual offenses, DWI/DUI, murder or manslaughter... s**t is seriously f'd and out of line.

Even Microsoft is part of the 57%

Magallanes said,
Even Microsoft is part of the 57%

I'm sure more companies are in the 57% than we know of. Grant admin rights and you're almost guaranteed a slot in the 57%. What's free to use at home isn't always free to use in the work place.

Marshall said,
Chalk me up in the 57%.

Same, although I'm clean now, and have been for a few years now! Open source and the abundance of freeware FTW!

Marshall said,
Chalk me up in the 57%.


Me too. However something really bugs me about the quote they've used.

"If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift, authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. "

THAT really bugs me. Piracy is not stealing. Stealing is when you remove something so someone else no longer has it.

What we're really looking at here is more like the following:

"If 57 percent of consumers admitted they went into the shop, looked at the recipe or ingrediants then went home and made it themself, authorities would react by laughing at the companies."

If i was to do that, I'd create the recipe at home, a copy of the one in the shop, the existing product still on the shelfs and I'd make my own copy at home. It might not come in the shiney box, it might not even taste as good, but i've certainly not stolen anything from anyone.

I know this isn't 100% the best way to describe it but its certainly better then making out I've stolen something from someone... geez.
Do these people who make stupid statements ask for their emails back they've sent you so they can recycle them?

sagum said,


Me too. However something really bugs me about the quote they've used.

"If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift, authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. "

THAT really bugs me. Piracy is not stealing. Stealing is when you remove something so someone else no longer has it.

What we're really looking at here is more like the following:

"If 57 percent of consumers admitted they went into the shop, looked at the recipe or ingrediants then went home and made it themself, authorities would react by laughing at the companies."

If i was to do that, I'd create the recipe at home, a copy of the one in the shop, the existing product still on the shelfs and I'd make my own copy at home. It might not come in the shiney box, it might not even taste as good, but i've certainly not stolen anything from anyone.

I know this isn't 100% the best way to describe it but its certainly better then making out I've stolen something from someone... geez.
Do these people who make stupid statements ask for their emails back they've sent you so they can recycle them?

You can argue all you want but they are right. Piracy is theft because you deprive the creators of money while enjoying something they created and asked for money. That is theft. It is same as if going into a hairdresser. They give you a haircut and you run away without paying. You have your haircut and nothing is missing from that store. You just basically had your haircut without paying.

ozgeek said,
You can argue all you want but they are right. Piracy is theft because you deprive the creators of money while enjoying something they created and asked for money. That is theft. It is same as if going into a hairdresser. They give you a haircut and you run away without paying. You have your haircut and nothing is missing from that store. You just basically had your haircut without paying.

Piracy does NOT equal a lost sale, and certainly is not theft.

Lets say a person would simply not buy the content in question, even if the only way to obtain it were by purchasing it. That's NOT a lost sale, they will simply never purchase it, under any circumstance.

Your analogy is also completely flawed. A person who walks out without paying for a haircut has stolen services from the establishment. That person took up a seat in the building that could have handled a paying customer, and it took up the time of an employee that could have handled a paying customer. It also used any product that may have gone into your hair, and dulled their scissors which will eventually need to be sharpened and/or replaced.

Majesticmerc said,

Same, although I'm clean now, and have been for a few years now! Open source and the abundance of freeware FTW!


How?

ozgeek said,

You can argue all you want but they are right. Piracy is theft because you deprive the creators of money while enjoying something they created and asked for money. That is theft. It is same as if going into a hairdresser. They give you a haircut and you run away without paying. You have your haircut and nothing is missing from that store. You just basically had your haircut without paying.

That's why i hate libraries! i go there and check out a book, and they make me feel like a thief, because i just stole money from the publisher by not buying the book!

ozgeek said,

You can argue all you want but they are right. Piracy is theft because you deprive the creators of money while enjoying something they created and asked for money. That is theft. It is same as if going into a hairdresser. They give you a haircut and you run away without paying. You have your haircut and nothing is missing from that store. You just basically had your haircut without paying.

Problem is, conventional analogies make you look like a fool because they are completely wrong.

Buttus said,

That's why i hate libraries! i go there and check out a book, and they make me feel like a thief, because i just stole money from the publisher by not buying the book!

Poor analogy. This is why books are limited in libraries and the amount of time you can he then. Also, you are not mass distributing it.

StarLion said,

Piracy does NOT equal a lost sale, and certainly is not theft.

Lets say a person would simply not buy the content in question, even if the only way to obtain it were by purchasing it. That's NOT a lost sale, they will simply never purchase it, under any circumstance.

Your analogy is also completely flawed. A person who walks out without paying for a haircut has stolen services from the establishment. That person took up a seat in the building that could have handled a paying customer, and it took up the time of an employee that could have handled a paying customer. It also used any product that may have gone into your hair, and dulled their scissors which will eventually need to be sharpened and/or replaced.

Apparently if someone take the time to download something and use it, it is irrelevant if they would have bought it or not. If you wouldnt have bought it in the first place, why download it?

soldier1st said,

How?

What do you mean How?. If you use Linux you would know you can find the equal to paid software that is just as good if not better, for free. Sometimes it's even available on Windows and Mac. Believe it or not man, if you really wanted to, every piece of software on your computer could be free and legal. You don't have to 'steal' anymore. The idea of no more forced OS upgrades from Microsoft is pretty sweet.

soldier1st said,

How?

http://alternativeto.net is my go-to place for finding software I want. If you want something (say Photoshop), but don't want to pay, you can go to that website, enter the name of the software into the search box, and it'll show you the list of possible free and open source (or cheaper paid) alternatives.

Worked well for me. Of course it helps that I'm a Linux user too, so a lot more stuff is free on there too

Mike Frett said,

What do you mean How?. If you use Linux you would know you can find the equal to paid software that is just as good if not better, for free. Sometimes it's even available on Windows and Mac. Believe it or not man, if you really wanted to, every piece of software on your computer could be free and legal. You don't have to 'steal' anymore. The idea of no more forced OS upgrades from Microsoft is pretty sweet.

4$ entry level software yes, However in most areas its a case of you get what you pay for example Promedia Carbon,EDIUS,TMG,Adobe Suite,Office, Orion etc etc etc

StarLion said,

Piracy does NOT equal a lost sale...

Exactly, I have a digital download license to Crysis 2 that will not work because of some weird bug that corrupts any and all saves. It seems to bite a handful of people, and the ONLY fix is to download a pirated version of the game and use the .exe from it.

I would do that but this "fix" doesn't work with digital download versions, and now I have a game I can't play in my Steam library. If I had a physical copy, I would count myself part of the 57% while I beat the game, so technically I would own the game while pirating it.

And what about people (some of whom I know) who buy games, and then download pirated versions of the game so they don't have to deal with DRM associated with the game, such as no-CD cracked executables. I'm sure they are counting that as pirated software too.

ccoltmanm said,
Apparently if someone take the time to download something and use it, it is irrelevant if they would have bought it or not. If you wouldnt have bought it in the first place, why download it?

How is this even a question?

Just because they would never (under any circumstance) pay money for the content in question, does not mean they wouldn't like to view/use the content...

There are plenty of things I want, and would use, but am unwilling to pay for at their current prices.

If they drop in price to a level I find acceptable (possibly free), great! I'll buy it! Until then I'll either do-without, or obtain the content through other means.

ccoltmanm said,

Poor analogy. This is why books are limited in libraries and the amount of time you can he then. Also, you are not mass distributing it.


Very true, Many Software companies do the same thing with their products... its called "trial version"