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Thursday, May 19, 2005
More than a third of PC software pirated


More than a third of the software installed on PCs worldwide during 2004 was pirated, according to a study released Wednesday by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), a software trade group.

Thirty-five percent of all software installed on PCs was pirated, down from 36% in 2003, according to the study, which was conducted by research firm IDC.

Estimated losses from software piracy climbed, however, from $29 billion to $33 billion, as both the legal and unauthorized software markets grew from 2003 to 2004. IDC estimated that $90 billion worth of software was installed in 2004, compared to $80 billion in 2003, with sales of legal software growing 6%.

Countries using the most pirated software, according to IDC, are Vietnam, Ukraine, China and Zimbabwe. At least 90% of the software used in those countries was pirated during 2004, according to the BSA report. In more than half the 87 countries studied, software piracy exceeded 60%.

IDC estimated that 21% of software in the U.S. was pirated, compared to 23% in New Zealand and 27% in the U.K. Austria and Sweden were also among the countries with the lowest software piracy rates.

Software piracy causes a "profound economic impact" around the world, Robert Holleyman, the BSA?s president and CEO, said in a statement. Software piracy leads to job losses and lost tax revenue in countries with growing software markets, he said.

For the study, IDC used proprietary statistics for software and hardware shipments, conducted more than 7,000 interviews in 23 nations and enlisted IDC analysts in more than 50 countries to review market conditions.


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