BSA reports Australia's pirate software market worth $837m

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BSA reports Australia's pirate software market worth $837m

Unlicensed software in Australia is worth $837 million, according to a survey conducted by anti-piracy vendor group BSA The Software Alliance.

A statement from BSA warned that in absolute terms, "the commercial value of that unlicensed software has more than doubled over the past decade, totalling $837 million in 2013". The BSA Global Software Survey also showed the Asia-Pacific region hosted over US$21 billion of unlicensed software.

The Asia-Pacific region upped its unlicensed software installation rate by two points to a staggering 62 percent – the highest in the world.

In Australia, the unlicensed software rate has in fact decreased in every survey since 2007. Nationally the rate was 21 percent for 2013, a two-point decrease from the previous year.

Internationally, there was US$62.7 billion worth of unlicensed software in 2013, translating to a slight rise in the piracy rate to 43 percent. The vendor advocacy group stated that "emerging economies where unlicensed software use is most prevalent continued to account for a growing majority of all PCs in service".

Malware is the top reason nominated by users (43 percent) and IT managers (50 percent) for installing legitimate computer programs.

BSA Australia's committee chair, Clayton Noble, said: "There are basic steps any company can take to ensure it is fully compliant, like establishing a formal policy on licensed software use and maintaining careful records.

"Companies should also implement robust software asset management programs that follow internationally accepted guidelines, including regular reviews of software licenses and deployments," said Noble.

"These SAM programs will ensure adequate controls are in place and provide a full view into what is installed on a network. This helps organisations to avoid security and operational risks, and will ensure they have the right number of licenses for their users."

The survey is conducted every two years. In 2013, almost 22,000 end users and 2,000 IT managers were polled.

Earlier this month, a Victorian construction business settled with the BSA for $100,000 damages for using unlicensed Microsoft and Autodesk software.

The anti-piracy lobby group, which is headquartered in Washington DC, is an alliance of most of the giant multinational vendors. The Australian branch started as the Business Software Association of Australia in 1989.

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