Study: One Third of Software Pirated

According to a recent survey, more than one-third of all software installed on personal computers is pirated. 35 percent of installed software was pirated in 2004, down one percent from last year. However, the survey found that losses from software increased, from $29 to $33 billion.

The survey was released by the Business Software Alliance, a group of leading software developers. However, the research was completed by independent firm IDC.

"Worldwide, one out of every three copies of software in use today has been obtained illegally," said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman. "These losses have a profound economic impact in countries around the world. Every copy of software used without proper licensing costs tax revenue, jobs, and growth opportunities for burgeoning software markets."

IDC said that much of the reason why losses from software piracy increased were due to a falling U.S. dollar and six-percent growth in the PC industry.

The survey found that piracy in 37 countries decreased, while another 34 increased. 16 countries saw the same level of piracy year over year. In 24 of the 87 countries studied, piracy rates eclipsed 75 percent. Of the top five countries, three of them were in Asia, with Vietnam having the highest at 92 percent.

The United States saw the lowest amount of piracy -- 21 percent.

John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC gave some insight as to why piracy rates in some countries are so high. "Piracy is still most prevalent in countries and regions where the software market is growing as personal computing becomes more integral to work and daily life," Gantz explained.

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