Despite the fact that 98% of all statistics are made up on the spot and 60% are accurate 100% of the time there are some statistics that you actually should pay attention to. According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA) 26% of all PC software used in Australia is pirated, costing the industry an estimated AU$834million dollars a year.

The Sixth Annual BSA-IDC Global Software Piracy Study was conducted by IDC, the IT industry’s leading global market research and forecasting firm and also highlights that personal computer (PC) software piracy remains a serious problem in all countries, and the challenge is greatest in the world’s fastest growing markets.

In 2008, the rate of PC software piracy dropped in slightly more than half (57) of the 110 countries studied, remained the same in nearly one third (36), and rose in just 16. However, the worldwide PC software piracy rate rose for the second year in a row, from 38 percent to 41 percent, mainly because PC shipments grew fastest in high-piracy countries such as China and India, overwhelming progress in these and other countries.

Australia was the tenth most compliant with a piracy rate of 26 per cent, a marginal decrease of two-percentage points from the 28 per cent piracy rate reported in 2007.  New Zealand was ranked fourth with piracy rates unchanged at 22 per cent.


In another sign of the scale of the problem, the monetary value of “losses” to the software industry from PC software piracy broke the US$50 billion level for the first time. Worldwide losses grew by 11 percent to US$53 billion in non-adjusted dollars, although half of that growth was the result of the falling US dollar. Excluding the effect of exchange rates, losses grew by 5 percent to US$50.2 billion.

Clare Wharrier, BSA Australia co-chair, said, “Piracy rates remain relatively static in spite of increased awareness and education programs and an increase in the number of successful prosecutions and investigations.  The economic consequences of piracy are far-reaching and it affects more than just software developers and distributors.  Piracy undermines the local IT industry’s innovation and creativity, but also translates into fewer jobs and less tax revenue for the government.”

Jeffrey J. Hardee, BSA’s Vice President and Regional Director, Asia Pacific, said, “The availability of pirated software on the Internet, which ironically is facilitated by increasing broadband penetration in the region, is also a major concern.  On top of this, it is surprising how often we find that managers fail to institute policies and procedures in their organisations to manage their software assets to prevent the use of unlicensed software in the workplace and to gain efficiencies by carefully integrating their software assets to maximise productivity.”

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