Six states use nearly half of all pirated software in the U.S.

Six U.S. states are responsible for nearly half of all the suspected cases of corporate software piracy, the Business Software Alliance reported on Wednesday.

The BSA, which collects piracy tips from its online reporting forum, and its 1-888-NO-PIRACY hotline, said 49.3% of the piracy reports it received in 2010 were about companies in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Michigan.

"On the one hand, it is not surprising that the six states where we are seeing the most corporate software piracy are all among the largest in the country," said Jodie Kelley, BSA's Vice President of Anti-Piracy and General Counsel. "But the trend underscores how prevalent these harmful copyright violations are throughout the US economy."

The results may not be so surprising to the BSA because all but one of the states included in the list (Michigan,) have been the same since 2007. A point of interest here is Ohio's disappearance from the top six, and Michigan's movement up.

Michigan was ranked 37th out of the 50 U.S. states in GDP per capita by the Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, lowest of all the states in that ranked highly in the use of pirated software.

But the BSA says a factor like the local economy, or even the world's economy overall, isn''t necessarily a good indicator of the piracy rate, but the type of industries prevalent in the area may be.

"We've tended to see more piracy reports in certain sectors (e.g. manufacturing) vs. other sectors," representatives from the BSA told Betanews today. "Though we would have expected higher piracy rates in 'bad economic times,' that hasn't always been the case and it would thus be an overstatement to suggest that businesses are more or less likely to use pirated software during tough economic times at this point."

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