Software piracy on the increase says BSA

According to the BSA, the rate of global software piracy in 2009 was 43%.

The report, which was co-branded with IDC, the research firm, found that this was two percent higher than 2008, and is being driven largely by expanding PC sales in emerging markets.

The BSA says that software theft exceeded $51 billion in commercial value in 2009 and, adds IDC, lowering software piracy by just 10 percent over the next four years would create nearly 500 000 new jobs and pump  £90 billion into "ailing economies."

In the UK, pirated software with a commercial value of £1 billion was installed on users' PCs although Infosecurity notes that the UK actually had the sixth lowest piracy rate in the world at 27% – the former Soviet satellite state of Georgia (a country in its own right since the early 1990s) had the highest at 95%.

"Although the UK has one of the lowest piracy rates in the world, 27% is nothing to be proud of", said Michala Wardell, chair of the BSA's UK Committee.

According to Wardell, as the world emerges from the most severe global economic recession in twenty years, we will continue to engage with government, businesses and consumers about the risks of stealing software - and the true impact that software piracy has on the UK's economy.

Interestingly, the BSA asserts, the steady rise of the PC netbook, which comes loaded with pre-installed software, could have helped stabilise the piracy figures during the current economic climate.

Netbook sales, says the report, surged last year and now represent 20% of the overall software market.

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