Software Piracy

SINGAPORE, May 14, 2008 (AFP) – Software piracy increased last year in the Asia-Pacific region, boosted by China’s growing use of personal computers, an industry group said on Wednesday. The Asia-Pacific’s average PC software piracy rate in 2007 increased to 59 percent of the software in use in the region from 55 percent the previous year, said the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which works to fight piracy.

Bangladesh had the highest Asian piracy rate in 2007, at 92 percent, followed by Sri Lanka’s 90 percent, BSA said. Vietnam was third-highest with 88 percent.

Armenia’s 93 percent piracy rate was the highest in the world and the United States had the lowest rate at 20 percent, BSA said.

The increase was largely because of China’s growing share of the region’s overall PC market, it said.

Losses from software piracy in the region rose to more than 14 billion US dollars in 2007 from almost 12 billion dollars in 2006, BSA said as it released a global study of the problem.

BSA’s members include Microsoft, Apple, McAfee and other major industry players.

It says piracy includes illegal manufacture, the retail sale of pirated software, unauthorised downloading