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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The BSA singles out eight states in software piracy report, suggests public safety link

Slashdot It! The software industry's main lobbying group, the Business Software Alliance, would like you to know that piracy is a big problem. The BSA has just released its 2007 State Piracy Study, which found that one in five pieces of software in use in the United States was unlicensed. That's 20 percent! California, Illinois, Nevada and Ohio all had piracy rates over the national average -- except the study was only conducted in eight states, so we aren't sure if Nebraska is a hotbed of software piracy or not. The BSA notes that the piracy cost software vendors $4.2 billion -- "higher than the national figure for all other countries in the world except China." (Emphasis theirs) The BSA also says that the lost state and local tax revenue from piracy would have been enough to "hire nearly 25,000 experienced police officers." Who knew that if I had just paid for that copy of Microsoft Office in college, that there would be more cops walking the beat? "The United States may have the lowest PC software piracy rate in the world, but still..." This is an outrage! I, for one, think we should stop prosecuting all drug activity and focus on the scourge of society that is pirated software. Seriously. Piracy is bad, but I think it's a bit disingenuous to claim that "oh, if only people paid for their software, then little Timmy would have a new middle school to go to." The BSA finishes its press release by informing consumers of its "Know it, Report it, Reward it" program, which offers cash rewards for turning in pirates. Call 1-888-NO-PIRACY to report any software piracy at your employer. "The majority of BSA's leads come from current or former employees who have information relating to the unlicensed software activity." It's just like on the subway: "If you see something, say something" -- only this isn't terrorism, it's software piracy -- but Get Daily Updates via Email Protect your computer with Windows Onecare

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