Piracy rate kept at bay, study reveals

2011-05-18 07:16

South Africa is making progress in the fight against computer piracy.

The country’s piracy rate remained at 35%, despite the doubling of the computer market last year, while the commercial value of unlicensed software on computers reached about R3.6 billion last year.

This was according to the Business Software Alliance’s 2010 global software piracy study.

“This tells us that despite an increase in the number of shipments last year, some progress has been made in keeping the software piracy rate in South Africa at bay,” said Renee Luus, the alliance’s enforcement manager.

“However, there is still much more work to be done – the further we reduce software piracy, the better it will be for the South African economy in terms of fostering IT innovation as well as job creation.”

The study incorporated data from 116 countries worldwide and this year’s study included respondents from South Africa.

A public opinion survey of computer users on key social attitudes and behaviours related to software piracy was also conducted by Ipsos Markinor public affairs.

According to the Markinor survey, 72% of the respondents from South Africa showed strong support for inventors as well as intellectual property rights. This was on par with the global average.

Of the respondents, 78% said intellectual property rights rewarded creativity while 61% said they created jobs.

The survey also found widespread recognition that licensed software was superior to unlicensed software and that computer users were very aware of legal versus illegal ways to acquire software.

“Clearly, there is a strong appreciation for the value delivered by legal software. The results reinforce the need to educate users that software purchased for one computer and then used on multiple home or office computers is piracy,” added Luus.

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