Fifty seven percent of computer users globally admit they have acquired pirated software, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reported today in the 2011 BSA Global Software Piracy Study. Some users say they pirate all or most of the time. Others say they do it occasionally or rarely. The net effect was to fuel a software piracy rate of 70 percent last year in the Philippines, up from 69% in 2010, which means 7 out of 10 programs that users installed were unlicensed. The commercial value of this piracy was US$338 million (approximately PHP14.6 billion).
“If 57 percent of consumers admitted they shoplift — even rarely —authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a similar response: concerted public education and vigorous law enforcement,” said Roland Chan, BSA Senior Director for Marketing in Asia Pacific.
36 percent of admitted software pirates in Asia-Pacific surveyed in the study, say they acquire software illegally “all of the time,” “most of the time” or “occasionally,” while 27 percent say they “rarely” do so. The study also found that admitted software pirates in Asia-Pacific are predominantly male, with 32 percent between the ages of 18-24.
In the Philippines, the Business Software Alliance has been a staunch supporter of the government’s efforts to combat software piracy, particularly, the enforcement campaigns of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) composed of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Optical Media Board (OMB), the Philippine National Police and its latest member, the Intellectual Property Office (IPOPHL).
BSA has also partnered with the Intellectual Property Coalition (IPC), which is composed of private stakeholder companies coming from different industries, in conducting various educational and awareness generation campaignson the importance of respecting intellectual property rights for businesses, consumers and the country as a whole.
“Software piracy persists as a drain on the global economy, IT innovation and job creation,” said BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman. “Governments must take steps to modernize their IP laws and expand enforcement efforts to ensure that those who pirate software face real consequences.”
Globally, the study finds that piracy rates in emerging markets tower over those in mature markets — 68 percent to 24 percent, on average — and emerging markets account for an overwhelming majority of the global increase in the commercial value of software theft. This helps explain the market dynamics behind the global software piracy rate, which hovered at 42 percent in 2011 while a steadily expanding marketplace in the developing world drove the commercial value of software theft to US$63.4 billion.
Other findings from this year’s BSA Global Software Piracy Study include:
- Globally, the most frequent software pirates are disproportionately young and male — and they are more than twice as likely to live in an emerging economy as they are to live in a mature one (38 to 15 percent).
- Business decision makers admit to pirating software more frequently than other users — and they are more than twice as likely as others to say they buy software for one computer and then install it on additional machines in their offices.
- Globally, there is strong support for IP rights and protections in principle, but a troubling lack of incentive for pirates to change their behavior in practice. Just 20 percent of frequent pirates in mature markets — and 15 percent in emerging markets — say the risk of getting caught is a reason not to pirate software.
“Under-licensing of software within businesses continues to be a key contributor of software piracy. Beyond the damage done to the IT sector and supporting ecosystem, such activity harms local and regional market competition. It is crucial that governments across the region take strong measures — not just through education but also through enforcement — to protect the interest of honest businesses and ensure fair competition,” said Victor Lim, Vice President, Asia/Pacific Consulting Operations, IDC.
This is the ninth annual study of global software piracy conducted by BSA in partnership with IDC and Ipsos Public Affairs, two of the world’s leading independent research firms. The study methodology involves collecting 182 discrete data inputs and assessing PC and software trends in 116 markets. This year’s study also included a survey of 15,000 computer users in 33 countries that together constitute 82 percent of the global PC market.
A full copy of the 2011 BSA Global Software Piracy Study, including Philippines-specific data, is available for downloadon BSA’s website: http://www.bsa.org/globalstudy.