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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

US internet users have a schizophrenic attitude to software piracy, and while recognizing the principal that developers should be paid for the work are more than happy to download pirated software from the Web.

The finding came in a survey released by the business software alliance, covering 1,000 users. Half of respondents said they had downloaded commercial software at some time, and 81% said they had failed to pay for the copies they made. The study showed 57% seldom or never paid for downloaded software, while 12% admitted to software piracy.

But users attitudes did not always square with their behavior. A massive 95% of users said they believed software developers should be paid for their work, while 85% said strong intellectual property protection was important in protecting developer's revenues and safeguarding further development.

The BSA took the survey as indicating the need for enhanced education and enforcement. The organization unveiled its latest tool to combat piracy. It is using MediaForce's MediaSentry system to crawl the web looking for pirated software on download sites, and is notifying ISPs when it detects pirated material on sites they service.

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