Software Piracy Up, Industry Report Says
Royce, Kate, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Modern technology has made it easier than ever to pirate software, and more companies are doing it, according to a report issued yesterday by an industry group.
"It's not difficult at all, and that's part of the problem," said Bob Kruger, vice president of enforcement at the Business Software Alliance (BSA). "People can just take a disk and put it on more computers than they're licensed to do so."
Thirty-seven percent of all business software in use last year was stolen, costing companies worldwide an estimated $11.8 billion, the BSA said. Although the cost of software theft declined 4 percent from $13.2 billion in 1999, last year represented the first time in the study's six-year history that the world piracy rate did not decline.
Most businesses pirate software by installing one software program on multiple computers, and the Internet is making it easier for businesses to obtain unlicensed software. Ninety percent of software sold on Internet auction sites is pirated, the District-based BSA said.
"I'd be less than candid if I didn't say when progress is made on one front, another problem arises in another," Mr. Kruger said. "Internet piracy has grown to such a point that it threatens to make others seem quaint by comparison."
The United States reported a piracy rate of 24 percent last year, the lowest in the study, while Vietnam reported the highest rate - 97 percent.
"It is more expensive to have unlicensed software than it is to have" licensed software, Mr. …