The total value of pirated software in Australia reached $739 million in 2011, amounting to 23 per cent of all of software installed in the country, according to software education organisation, Business Software Alliance (BSA).
The findings were reflected in the company’s recent 2011 Global Software Piracy Study, conducted in partnership with IDC and Ipsos Public Affairs. It incorporated 182 discrete data inputs for each of 116 national and regional economies studied.
On a global level, 57 per cent of the PC software installed in 2011 was pirated. The global commercial value of pirated software has surged from $US58.8 billion in 2010 to $US63.4 billion in 2011.
Piracy rates in emerging markets tower over those in mature markets — 68 per cent to 24 per cent, on average — and emerging markets account for an overwhelming majority of the global increase in the commercial value of software theft.
“Software piracy persists as a drain on the global economy, IT innovation and job creation,” BSA president and CEO, Robert Holleyman, said.
According to him, Governments have to take steps to modernise their IP laws and expand enforcement efforts to ensure that those who pirate software face consequences.
However, the research also found Australia is the only country in Asia-Pacific where piracy has consistently dropped by a percentage point per year over the last eight years.
“At a local level, our reports show, year-on-year progress is being made to reduce the level of software piracy in Australia,” BSA Australia Co-Chair, Clayton Noble, said.
He said that though the statistics show progress, there is still a long way to go to minimise piracy, which will see significant and lasting benefits for the Australian economy.
Other findings from the BSA Global Software Piracy Study include:
- Globally, the most frequent software pirates are young (aged between 18 to 24), male and more than twice as likely to live in an emerging economy as they are to live in a mature one (38 to 15 per cent). In Asia-Pacific, they amount to 32 per cent.
- Business decision makers confessed to pirating software more frequently than other users. They are also 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.
- There is strong support for IP rights and protections in principle, but a lack of incentives for pirates to change their behaviour in practice. Only 20 per cent of frequent pirates in mature markets and 15 per cent in emerging markets said the risk of getting caught is a reason not to pirate software.
- In Asia-Pacific, 36 per cent of admitted software pirates said they acquire software illegally “all of the time”, “most of the time” or “occasionally”, while 27 per cent “rarely” do so.