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Mississippi flouts software licensing regulations more than any other state in the Union.

Almost half (48.7 per cent) of the business software used in the southern state is pirated, according to a state-by-state study commissioned by the Business Software Alliance and conducted last year.

By comparison, New York's business are the most diligent in obtaining legal software - even though software piracy there still runs at 11.9 per cent. Piracy rates in California, home of many of the software vendors within the BSA, run at 18.5 per cent.

According to the study (released yesterday), US software piracy rates in 2001 reached 25 percent, up one percentage point from 2000.

This cost the world's richest economy "$1.8 billion in retail sales of business software applications and more than 111,000 jobs", according to the BSA, which estimates global software piracy ran to $11 billion last year.

To combat software piracy, the BSA repeats its advice that businesses need to monitor their software assets closely (before the BSA does it for them - Ed), educate users and implement sound software management programs. There's also a warning to be wary of buying software at prices that are "too good to be true". Dirt cheap software is normally bootleg, the organisation advises. ®

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Check out how much software piracy cost your state in lost revenue, jobs and taxes paid here! (Warning: nice map - but slow to load, be patient)

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