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Pirates cost software industry $53 billion in 2008

We all have mixed feelings when it comes to justifying pirate's actions, the debate will never end. The debate is likely going to heat up in governments around the world as the Business Software Alliance today reported a $53 billion dollar loss in 2008 due to piracy. The news shouldn't surprise many, as people around the world tighten their spending.

The report indicates that software piracy dropped in 57 countries that the BSA studies, but rose worldwide for the second year in a row from 38% to 41%. Worldwide losses grew by 11 percent to $53.0 billion, breaking the $50 billion mark for the first time ever.

"We are continuing to make progress against PC software piracy in many countries, which helps people working in the US-led global software industry. That's the good news," said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. "The bad news is that PC software piracy remains so prevalent in the United States and all over the world," Holleyman added. "It undermines local IT service firms, gives illegal software users an unfair advantage in business, and spreads security risks. We should not and cannot tolerate a $9 billion hit on the software industry at a time of economic stress."

The report suggests that the United States has the lowest software piracy rate in the world, about 20%. Having the lowest software piracy rate isn't all that great; the United States lost about $9.1 billion (The largest dollar loss from the report). Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, and Zimbabwe all rank with a 90% piracy rate or higher. Central/Eastern Europe (67%) and Latin America (65%) are the highest-piracy regions, while North America (21%) and the European Union (35%) are the lowest-piracy regions.

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