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Software Piracy: The Scourge Of Computing

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Did you know that nearly 60% of the world’s population uses pirated software? Except that the number is probably higher because it only represents the number of people who are willing to admit that they use pirated software. These statistics come to us courtesy of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which recently announced the results of its Ninth Annual BSA Global Software Piracy Study.

By region:

  • Nineteen per cent of software pirates come from North America.
  • Sixty-one per cent from Latin America.
  • Fifty-eight per cent from the Middle East and Africa.
  • Sixty per cent from Asia Pacific.
  • Thirty-two per cent from Western Europe.
  • Sixty-two per cent from Central and Eastern Europe.

The market for pirated software is estimated to be about $63.4 billion.

The worst transgressors

The US Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus releases an annual International Piracy Watch List, which lists the worst countries for software piracy (advancedtelevision.com). The top five countries are:

  • China
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine

China is especially notorious for its high levels of piracy. Several Chinese companies are being sued for using pirated software instead of the real deal and it’s reported that the market is worth $9 billion, which is three times that of the legal software market.

According to Seeking Alpha, China is also suing Home Electrical Appliances Holdings in China for using pirated software.

Why you need to avoid pirated software

The main reason people indulge in a spot of software piracy is because it’s cheaper than buying the real thing; which means that one of the biggest disadvantages is loss of revenue for software developers.

It’s unlikely that software pirates will change their ways just so that massive corporations like Microsoft can improve their profit margins. But there are more personal disadvantages that should make them think twice.

  • It’s illegal. You get caught you’ll be fined – significantly.
  • It lacks all the capabilities and features of the genuine article.
  • It’s not as well made as the genuine article and could cause you no end of problems.
  • There isn’t support if you do experience problems.
  • There are no guarantees or warrantees.
  • They could come with embedded malware.
  • They lack the protection of the genuine article, which means that you are more vulnerable to malware and attacks.

The cost of genuine software is off-putting to many people and companies, but that is nothing compared to the costs of losing data, falling victim to identity theft and lost time and productivity that results from faulty software.

This guest post was written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Dynamics Careers, which advertises a range of Microsoft Dynamics CRM software development jobs around the world.

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