Software piracy rates remain stubbornly stuck
BSA calls for bigger stick to beat pirates
Use of unlicensed software by UK businesses remains stuck at around 27 per cent, according to the latest study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
Worldwide piracy rates are also steady at a higher rate of 35 per cent.
UK figures have remained the same for the last three years prompting the BSA to call for tougher government action. It suggests that current penalties are not a sufficient deterrent against the use of counterfeit or unlicensed software.
A recent consultation on the law on damages from the Department of Constitutional Affairs backed the need for bigger fines, according to the BSA.
"Despite attempts to educate businesses, and increased efforts to enforce the licensing laws by the government and the industry, it is clear that more must be done," said Sarah Coombes, director of legal affairs at the BSA EMEA.
The use of pirated software by UK businesses cost local and international software publishers $1.67bn in 2006, according to a study conducted by analyst house IDC and commissioned by the BSA.
It's wise to view these figures with a degree of caution because previous estimates have equated every instance of pirated software use as a lost sale. And when even senior Microsoft execs acknowledge that use of pirated Windows leads to sales of Microsoft software over the long term, it becomes clear that the economics of software piracy are more complex than the BSA would have us believe. ®
We dont care how much the industry "loses"
For years there have been industry surveys (annually since the mid 1990s) that talk about how much the software, music and movie industry is “losing due to piracy”. The stats are rubbery and in reality are pitching at the wrong layers of management.
Many do NOT believe the statistics being used by these industry surveys, hence they tend to ignore the advice of the BSA.
We Don’t Care How Much the Software Industry is losing Due to Piracy!”
“Really, it’s not really that important how much the software, fonts, music and movie industry is losing, but what should be relevant is “by how much more” you could improve your bottom line and cash flow! Until you check out your systems you won’t know!”
Other areas that need to be looked at cover Fonts (that are also subject to license compliance issues, the same as software) plus music and movie files all of which carry risks and exposure from anti-piracy authorities worldwide.
Further Information: http://www.pcprofile.com/We_Dont_Care_How_Much_The_Software_Industry_Is_Losing.pdf
Here's proof they're fake numbers
In table 5 they state that there is a linear relationship between piracy rates and loss of vendor income in each country market.
Even if they were able to count every single install of OSS software, the only way to get that $ linear relationship, is if there is a linear relationship between OSS software usage and Retail vendor software usage. That's the only way to get the $ value of sales to have a linear relationship to piracy rates.
Of course that's not real, it would be too implausible and too coincidental (*) so they must be counting OSS installs as pirated software to get that figure linear.
1000 users buy 1000 pieces of software for 1000 PC at $1000 a piece. Real Piracy = 0, Vendor software = $1 million.
1000 users buy 500 pieces of software for 1000 pcs at $1000 a piece and install 500 OSS software products . Real Piracy = 0, Vendor income = $500k.
No linear relationship because OSS usage is not in a linear relationship to commercial software usage in all the countries.
If you treat OSS as pirated software then you get the linear relationship IDC claim exists. Hence that is what they are doing.
* Do you think that OSS is used linearly throughout the world?
In high piracy rate markets, why would they use OSS instead of pirating the commercial applications?
In markets where no OSS translation of that product exists, why would they use OSS in the foreign language?
So there cannot be a linear relationship between piracy rate and vendor $ sales if OSS units used are properly accounted for, ergo they're not counted.
No the flaws are there
In effect they're extrapolating from their audited PCs, but the ability for BSA to audit PCs comes when customers buy typically MS (or other BSA) software. They then extrapolate this (a set biased to BSA customers) to all PCs and compare them to the sales of their members. The difference in value is taken to be pirated software loss.
So people who use OSS are presumed to use the same rate of BSA software as audited BSA PCs. But they use open source software and are not required to be audited so are not audited.
A copy of Abiword displacing a sale of MS Word would result in a loss in that calculation of the estimated average value of a BSA Word processor (adjusted by the few OSS software that's installed at OEM time and is measurable but negligable), basically the full cost of MS Word. It's not a loss due to piracy, it's normal price pressure driving the price down. That Abiword user is also taken out of the BSA audit/survey pool.
i.e. they count OSS sales as a piracy loss at the price of their members software.
The breach of EULA = pirate software is also a known problem with the BSA. But that is not the big problem with these numbers.