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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Anti-Piracy Outfit Calls to Arrest Half the World

The BSA has published another study which contains the usual statistical nightmares, specifically designed to frighten politicians into locking up more people.

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The publication claims that 50% of Internet users are copyright infringers and have installed unlicensed software. The 9th annual Global Software Piracy Study has revealed a sharp increase in software piracy, particularly among emerging economies. The anti-piracy outfit said that in the United Kingdom over 25% programs users installed last year were unlicensed.

The survey involved 15,000 PC users from 33 countries across the globe, and 57% of them admitted to unlicensed software use, which is an increase of 42% from the year before. The outfit estimates that the global annual cost of software piracy is somewhere $63.4 billion.

However, the United Kingdom is still below the global average, with only 27% of PC users admitting they have got software illegally in 2011. As far as the anti-piracy outfit is concerned, that means that the industry lost around £1.2 billion. The BSA explained that the United Kingdom is in a double dip recession and believes that it is very important to protect the entertainment industry’s intellectual property and its contribution to the economy. However, the outfit didn’t seem to think that the recession could become the cause of piracy and that its products were now too expensive.

Moreover, the BSA ignored the fact that the more expensive the content is, the more likely it’s to be pirated. This is born out by the fact that piracy is more widespread in developing countries, because people there are broke. Instead, the BSA says that the penalties for piracy are not very strict. According to the results of its survey, over 3/4 of British users surveyed don’t think the risk of getting caught is an effective deterrent to piracy.

The anti-piracy outfit is now calling for a stronger damages legislation, which includes double damages, in order to stop the increase in unauthorized software use. As a result, general counsel at Federation Against Software Theft called for the government to introduce new legislation which could make it easier for the entertainment industry to lock up pirates.

Meanwhile, this problem has another side which the industry hasn’t worked out yet. In fact, if over 50% of the world are pirates, then democratically they are in the majority! The conclusions are up to you…

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