Bootleg Ware

May 12, 2009 (LBO) – Software piracy in the Asia-Pacific region continued to grow last year with Sri Lanka the second worst offender, a study said Tuesday, AFP news agency reported. The piracy was driven by the rapid growth in computer sales and the availability of bootleg programmes online.

AFP said the annual survey by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and industry research firm IDC showed that in 2008, an average of 61 percent of the region’s software were unlicensed.

The figure was up from 59 percent the previous year.

The news agency quoted the BSA study as saying that Bangladesh was the biggest culprit in the region last year with a piracy rate of 92 percent.

Sri Lanka came a close second at 90 percent and Pakistan third at 86 percent, the study showed, AFP said.

Japan had the lowest rate, at 21 percent, followed by New Zealand at 22 percent and Australia at 26 percent.

In China, the average piracy rate dropped to 80 percent last year from 82 percent in 2007, the study showed.

The improvement in China is due to “more vigorous enforcement and education,” it said.

AFP said that according to the study the software piracy led l