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BSA Claims Half of PC Users Are Pirates

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the gnu-is-a-crime dept.

Piracy 585

judgecorp writes "Despite continued pressure on business users to buy legitimate software, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reports that the campaign seems to be failing. Well over half (57%) of users surveyed in a global survey admit to using pirated software. That's a big increase from the same survey last year — when 43% admitted to using pirated software. The BSA surveyed 15,000 people in 33 countries."

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Underestimation? (5, Insightful)

GloomE (695185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072155)

Only half?

Re:Underestimation? (5, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072167)

Cmon, we can do better than 57%

Re:Underestimation? (4, Insightful)

InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072305)

Sorry, but I believe the number should be going down. Soon enough, people will realize they don't need buggy siftware when they can get Linux and Open Source software that is better and mostly free

Re:Underestimation? (1)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072387)

The *percentage* doesn't have to be going down to indicate a switch FLOSS....



Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072505)

C'mon! Let's get to 100% PEOPLE!

That'll be just for the attitude of those bastards. ;-)

Re:WHAT'S STOPPING US? (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072687)

C'mon! Let's get to 100% PEOPLE!

That'll be just for the attitude of those bastards. ;-)

Actually BSA thinks that all the PC users are pirates - but they are scared that if they tell the truth as it is, they'll look like loons

Re:Underestimation? (5, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072171)

Over half of PC users worldwide have admitted to using pirate software

Re:Underestimation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072235)

It's more like 57% of the 15000 people we bothered to ask in the worth admitted to it.

But yeah, I can see why they'd like to make that sound like it reflects all 7 billion of us.

Re:Underestimation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072351)

No, it's 57 percent of the people the BSA sued. The rest were the ones who 'paid their compliance' up front. Also half of those interviewed were BSA employees :)

Re:Underestimation? (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072205)

It's probably how many people know what pirating means. Copying or downloading software you would normally pay for... oh that's what that's called. :)

Re:Underestimation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072251)

Only half?

What wasn't apparent from just reading it in text was the emotional context. Specifically, the giddy excitement over the fact that they now have a whole half of a country to sue, meaning, by their logic, they'll be rich beyond their wildest dreams!!

Have you ever seen a lawyer drone squee? It's hilarious.

Re:Underestimation? (1)

sofar (317980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072457)

the other half used free software...

Re:Underestimation? (5, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072583)

TFA is just a troll. Or flamebait. Or both. I don't know.

Re:Underestimation? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072659)

Considering the population of China, India, Africa, half is rather surprising. Looking at the study, in the top 20 the only places UNDER 50% are the US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, S Korea and Australia. Interestingly they twist the logic around so the USA, with the lowest rate of piracy at 19% has the highest "value" of pirated software. Not really sure how we beat China at a 77% piracy rate, which seems both low as a rate and low as a $ value. Maybe the Chinese just pirate cheap software?

The quick conclusion I draw after looking at the actual study is that people generally pay for software they can afford (affluent western countries) and people who can't afford it don't pay for it. Is this supposed to be surprising?

Different Approach? (5, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072163)

Doesn't that indicate that perhaps a different approach is required? This sue-happy, mafia-style campaign isn't working so perhaps that's not the right way to go about it. I don't have the solution but clearly neither do they.

Re:Different Approach? (5, Insightful)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072257)

When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

When you have lawyers on staff, every problem looks like an ambulance.

Re:Different Approach? (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072325)

Quite the opposite. This is great news for the RIAA and the like. Now whenever they do their scattershot lawsuits, they have a rock solid legal argument. "No your honor, we don't have any evidence. But statistically speaking, the defendant is almost certainly guilty!"

Re:Different Approach? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072413)

Why worry about being competitive if you can just sue everyone?

Re:Different Approach? (3, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072437)

They should continue it in order to make using their software suck even more.

I suggest "anvil-sized, spiked, parallel port dongles painted with necrotizing fasciitis" be required for every closed-source program.

Re:Different Approach? (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072497)

I think it probably does show that better pricing models and more flexibility would increase their sales.

The BSA should sue the BSA (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072169)

The Boy Scouts of America have been using that TLA for a lot longer than the Business Software Alliance has existed. The former should sue the latter for damaging the reputation of their acronym.

Re:The BSA should sue the BSA (4, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072313)

So in other words we should have the Boy Scouts go all WWF on the BSA?

Re:The BSA should sue the BSA (2)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072449)

Would they be up against wrestlers or pandas?

Re:The BSA should sue the BSA (4, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072537)


Re:The BSA should sue the BSA (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072607)

Why not both?

Re:The BSA should sue the BSA (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072651)

So in other words we should have the Boy Scouts go all WWF on the BSA?

The real BSA [] would have to shoot those little kids. Then ride away on motorcycles.

And 43% of those surveyed... (4, Funny)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072175)

... are liars.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (5, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072275)

Not all of the 43%. Some of us have learned from the Ernie Ball story and moved off closed source entirely.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072353)

Some of us (me for one) use both open source and closed source. The latter we pay for (except for special deals like Visual C++ Express).

Don't tar us all with the same brush. Just because you steal product, doesn't mean that we all do.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (1)

multiben (1916126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072693)

Calm down Charlie Brown. It was a bit of a joke. I'm not suggesting you're a malicious thief. My point was that most people at some juncture in their lives will have been in possession of pirated software whether they realised it or not. That doesn't make them habitual pirates. In the same way that I may jay-walk sometimes, or go over the speed limit or break the law in other minor ways doesn't make me a criminal.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072381)

I'd love to see the questions they use.

I can safely say in at least 2-3 years I have acquired any pirate software. I don't have anything I'll-acquired on my in-use systems... Bout there might be something on old HDD somewhere.

I used "pirate" opposed to "licensed" because they take their definition a set FURTHER than LEGAL definition of "infringement". Use stock Ubuntu... You're a pirate because of patents and such like you didn't PAY for it.

along the same line, my workplace actively locks down PCs from users acquiring software not licensed and verified by them. Of course, the BSA based its definition on CONTRACT terms.. Which are often outright illegal... Oops, your check was a day late.. We should have claimed $50k for each PC in your business.. That's how they get the crazy numbers.

You can call "liar, liar" of course the BSA itself has been sued in court for not properly licensing the software THEY use. They can cry, but THEY can't follow all the rules they claim to be enforcing.

Of course the REASON for my new found legality is the Apple App Store for Mac and iOS. I've spent more money on software there 2 years than in the 5 years previous to that. It's beautiful. Restoring shared purchases to a fresh install of Mac OSX is a breeze. Apple figured out how to make it fun to buy stuff. Not to mention waiting for the little update badge each day for new things.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072489)

I'd love to see the questions they use.

Knowing the BSA, it was "are you using any software you didn't pay for?" BAM, pirate!

The average also included developing countries, like China, where of course a lot of pirated software is used (by comparison, only ~1/4 of UK computers have pirated software... supposedly). Also, the study found current enforcement measures were "insufficient." Shocking that the BSA would find that. Looks like we'll need more laws to help them extor... I mean pay for all their software.

Especially the FOSS stuff, that is double-stealing: not paying people and not using their stuff.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072435)

While I can't technically say you're wrong since I wasn't one of those surveyed, I'm pretty sure I do not currently have any unlicensed software installed on any of my in-use computers. I haven't always been able to make this claim and probably do have some old, disused computers lying around that have unlicensed software on them. But for the last several years I've really had no reason to pirate any software. This is a result of using more free OSS, plus there simply not being any compelling paid software apps. There are actually several apps for which I've purchased more licenses than I ended up using.

We aren't all deadbeats software thieves.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072689)

We aren't all deadbeats software thieves.

This reeks of illogical emotions. You're trying to associate illegal copyright with something much more harmful.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072467)

Nope. I have not pirated any software (Master of Orion II was close, but the 1.31 patched exe replacing my key-locked direct download exe was completely legitimate - and I've bought the damned game twice already, it's time enough that I don't have to deal with that crap).

To be fair, you'll note I didn't say I haven't pirated anything. I did record music (downloading is a fairly idiotic way to get yourself caught) back when iTunes had ridiculously draconian DRM.

Re:And 43% of those surveyed... (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072561)

Do you exe strange attachments in your email too? Count me in the 43%. The only thing "cracked" is your computer if you're downloading and executing "free" software on P2P.

Gonna need more jailhouses built (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072187)

Better get cracking on building those jails to keep all these pirates

Re:Gonna need more jailhouses built (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072517)

That's what the conservatives in Canada are doing, building super prisons for copyright infringers.

In the States the super prisons are being built to house whole families of people who question the status quo of the government. By the current definitions, Ron Paul is actually a local terrorist.

Democracy? (1)

Grax (529699) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072195)

If that many people are pirates, shouldn't we just use our voting power to deem the BSA as an illegal racket trying to hit us up for protection money?

Re:Democracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072243)

That "voting power" is powerless against giant corporations with lots of bribe money.

Re:Democracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072397)

Which is good. I don't think either of us would be happy with direct democracy^Widiocracy.

Re:Democracy? (1)

Grax (529699) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072431)

Yes. Thank goodness the corporate giants are there to protect with their giant wads of cash.

Their lips are moving... you know what that means. (3, Insightful)

Jerry (6400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072253)


Need to come up with a final solution for piracy! (2)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072261)

Clearly, the solution is to incarcerate 60% of the population, or at least monitor all their activities, North Korea style.

Re:Need to come up with a final solution for pirac (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072289)

It's the only way to stop the evil pirates! People who copy copyrighted material illegally will bring about the end of the world!

Re:Need to come up with a final solution for pirac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072469)

When I read final solution I immediately thought you were going to talk about just killing everyone with illegally downloaded software.

You To Can Report Software Piracy (3, Funny)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072283)

Do you know a company using illegal software? Report it now and you could be rewarded with cash!

"Hi, I reported that my company was using pirated software by clicking the link below. It was easy and I received a cash reward for squealing. Now, I'm recommending it to my friends and family. They too can make easy money by turning in their boss and/or employer."

What are you waiting for, click on the link below, now!!!

At this rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072285)

Over 100% of users will be pirates within just four years.

Re:At this rate (2)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072299)

Over 100% of users will be pirates within just four years.

Things will be so much better when that happens. The authorities can then just arrest anyone they don't like and have a guaranteed conviction!

In a related report, math skills are declining... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072291)

Half Of PC Users Are Pirates, Says Study

One in four UK computer users have installed unlicensed software, says BSA

--- Brian

This clears me (2, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072297)

I use a Mac!

Phrasing (5, Interesting)

cranky_chemist (1592441) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072311)

Do you know what the article doesn't tell you?

How the question was phrased, which makes a helluva lot of difference in the results of any poll.

"Tell me, sir, do you still pirate software?"

"Well... uh... no."

"So you admit that you USED to pirate software?"

"Well... no."

"So you admit you pirate software now, but didn't used to?"

"Well... uh..."

"So how often do you beat your wife?"

Re:Phrasing (2)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072539)

The wording may not be so blatant, surveys can paint a picture without leading on to what they are actually asking. It would be very informative if the BSA actually posted the survey questions/responses and other details to see how it was conducted.

Re:Phrasing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072587)

"So how often do you beat your wife?"

Only the third Tuesday of every other month.

Crackpipe statistics (5, Insightful)

hangar47 (2644671) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072315)

"UK is firmly below the global average, with just 27 percent of computer users admitting they have acquired software illegally last year. This translates into an approximate £1.2 billion loss by the software industry." - "People who use software without paying for it" != "People who would pay for it if they couldn't get it for free". Only a group like the BSA (and it can't be coincidental that their acronym so nicely fits with BullShitArtists) would use stats like that.

What about Free Software? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072321)

Instead of the usual sarcastic blather about the BSA, shouldn't FOSS advocates be wondering why an estimated 57 percent of the population would rather pirate proprietary software than use a free alternative?

This isn't how it was supposed to work.

Re:What about Free Software? (2)

mrclisdue (1321513) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072439)

It's 57% of *users* (not population.)

The remaining 43% could be using FOSS, or FOSS users weren't counted.

Did you know that 93.5% of invented statistics is. (1)

FalafelXXX (598968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072323)

..complete and total nonsense. Especially if you paid a survey company with a clear understanding of what kind of results you want. Can you imagine them publishing a survey saying "1% of surveyed users admit to copying illegal software, the rest either did not know or care".

This can only mean one thing. (2)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072327)

Gonna need bigger prisons.

Sounds like Cop Statistics to me. (5, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072341)

You can bet that BSA surveys are rigged to generate the highest numbers possible. After all, if "piracy" was declining they couldn't really insists that all of the draconian laws and penalties were needed.

Cops figured this out decades ago - no matter that crime stats have been falling for ten years, somehow the police always need more people, more equipment, and tougher laws.

Any survey by the BSA - or any group with a vested interest - is automatically suspect.

It has probably gotten lower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072349)

I would say the number is far higher than self reported as most home users don't understand license issues, copyright or DRM etc.
People don't realize that the license for their ASUS laptop isn't transferable to their new desktop.

Additionally I would say the number has fallen . Not because of prosecutions, or an effort on behalf of users but because of licensing changes from software vendors over the years and the new abundance of quality freeware and open source apps. (remember when everyone pirated winzip and wirar now 7zip is more common)

*shrug* (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072355)

Just more hype to further the Internet lockdown.

If *most* of the population are criminals... (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072359)

is it really a crime?

This country is, at least in theory, a democracy. If more people break that law than voted for the current president, doesn't that indicate that the majority of people don't believe that piracy is "bad"?

I feel like there should be some eloquent Latin quote for this... Ubi omnes sontes, nemo sontes? Did I get that right?

Re:If *most* of the population are criminals... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072417)

The country is also, at least in theory, rigged to protect the rights of minorities. Founding fathers were scared to death of majority rule; that's why we have representatives and don't directly elect the President.

Re:If *most* of the population are criminals... (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072465)

> If *most* of the population are criminals... is it really a crime?

I have to question that kind of logic. For one thing, I bet something like 99% of the population have broken traffic laws at some point - whether that means speeding or rolling through a stop sign or whatever. If your logic is correct, then we should get rid of a lot of traffic laws as well. Even worse, some recent reports say that more than 1 in 3 men in South Africa have admitted to rape ( Assuming your logic is correct, South Africa is getting really close to legalizing rape.

Re:If *most* of the population are criminals... (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072605)

I would, in fact, argue that the current traffic laws *are* broken as currently used.

Speed limits are rigged to bring in ticket money. There's a section of highway I drive daily that's marked as 45MPH (with an advisory limit of 35)... that is completely safe at 65MPH+, and regularly driven at 70. I was once passed by a Mustang I swear was doing at least 120. There are no pedestrians (it's an overpass, no foot traffic), no sharp turns, no visibility problems, no oncoming traffic, nothing that makes such a low limit (for a highway) logical. And since it merges into 65MPH traffic after just a mile, I would argue that 35MPH is in fact completely *unsafe*.

It's also been demonstrated that traffic lights with red-light cameras are almost always set to LESS safe timings to boost revenue. As for "rolling stops", yeah, those shouldn't always be illegal as well. Go on and tell me that it's unsafe to slow down to a crawl long enough to see that there's NO ONE else on the road, then continue on. Blowing through a stop sign's obviously a Bad Thing, but I see no reason to come to a complete stop when I'm the only one on the road.

So if the laws that are being broken are primarily being broken in ways that harm no one, they are obviously in need of at least revision. Should we completely throw them out? Of course not. But should we improve them? Yes.

Your point about South Africa does have merit - obviously something as harmful as rape shouldn't be legalized (although I'll not that "33% of men" is only 16% of the population, so while your general idea has significant merit, your particular was perhaps poorly-chosen). I suppose one could argue that no man-made law can violate natural law, and thus you cannot legislate away the "right not to be raped" or other such natural rights. However, as copyright is clearly an artificial legal construct, I don't think natural law is particularly relevant.

Re:If *most* of the population are criminals... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072667)

If above 60% of the population, habitually brakes a civil (non penal) law, and a bi percentage of the other 40% doesn't give a crap about whether it is enforced, then it should be revised.

who pirates software any more? (5, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072361)

I haven't needed to pirate anything in years, everything has a free and good-enough equivalent now. What does anyone pirate today?

Re:who pirates software any more? (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072507)

Well, TPB will give you leeching statistics for software. I'm sure it's not entirely representative of overall pirating rates but I'd imagine it's a good approximation

Re:who pirates software any more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072525)

I'm sure the BSA questions were designed so that if you answered honestly, you would be counted as a pirate.

Perhaps something like, "Do you use software that you downloaded from the internet?"

If you answer yes, then clearly you are a pirate.

Re:who pirates software any more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072627)

I've pirated TV shows, music, and games in the last few years, but I've pretty much stopped that now; I feel guilty about not paying for content I want to encourage the creation of. A friend of mine recently pirated a British TV show that wasn't (easily) available in the US. I've pirated an old game I lost the CD to, though that hardly qualifies. Oh, and I downloaded a Final Fantasy 7 ROM when I never owned the game itself (borrowed it). I've hardly ever pirated non-game software, and not recently.

With free software alternatives, services like Netflix for video and Spotify for music, and with my desire to encourage new content I like, I don't have a reason to pirate anymore except in odd cases.

Inaccurate (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072371)

Something tells me they didn't even probe further, but even if they did they wouldn't have reported this part of the data. I bet that a significant portion of the 57% of "admitted pirates" are also legitimate customers who are using pirated software to bypass the annoyances (activation, DRM) that generally comes from high-profile commercial software.

57% is enough to win any race (1)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072373)

If I were a politician, which I'm not, too lazy for one thing and don't like people that much, but if I were I'd be totally delighted to win any race with 57% of the voters voting for me.
I believe that's what most winning politicians would call a mandate for their policies.

misleading statistics (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072393)

As usual when someone with an agenda throws statistics at you, you can rest assured that they've manipulated them in such a way to achieve their own goals. In this case, it's rather easy to see what they are doing. Worldwide? When I was in Africa 2 years ago, the hotel I stayed in had a computer in the community room. Windows Genuine Advantage warnings kept popping up. I fixed that for them... much to the bemusement of the Microsoft employee that was staying their with us. After traveling to several other locations we found that, at least to our limited exposure, ALL the software on EVERY computer was pirated. The Microsoft guy was appalled. I asked him where he expected these people to buy his software? Shipping to that part of africa was somewhere in the neighborhood of $500... There were no walmarts, or any sort of software vendors. The fastest data connection I came across was at a coffee shop at it was 56k. So you can be fairly certain that the entire continent of Africa's piracy rate is well above 99% Take the population of Africa... oh and China... and India... are you starting to get the picture? Did their poll ask people if it were possible for them to buy the software they needed in the first place? I doubt it.

Re:misleading statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072513)

One could argue that if they couldn't buy the software then how could they buy the computers that were running it? The stats are still misleading.

Re:misleading statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072617)

Not buying new, perhaps?

Re:misleading statistics (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072631)

You're right in that people with agenda will find a study somewhere some place that paints the picture in the way they want. It happens all the time anymore. I once got a laugh when they tried to sell Lucky Charms as a health food because the oat flakes are known to be good for your heart.

Who is the winner, really? (1)

TuckerBag (2644679) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072427)

I guess this is something that has probably been said a thousand times before, but, If pirating stopped overnight, then surely open source would become the standard within months? There's no way that pirates would suddenly start paying for software. And I mean NO WAY! In a way, pirating is doing corporations a massive favour by indirectly stifling open source, yes? Anyway, I love reading threads about this kind of topic, so I thought I should start to contribute :-)

Another poll..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072429)

100% of men polled claim to have large penises!

I think we've all pirated at some point (2)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072433)

Don't pretty much all computer users, especially those of the geeky variety, pirate software when they're kids and have little to no money to buy it?

I sure as hell did! Not because I wanted to "stick it to the man", but because I had no other way of getting software. I was a kid, I had no cash, no income. The software publishers lost nothing on me because had I not been able to pirate, I wouldn't have been able to buy the software anyway.

Now as an adult, I spend quite a bit of money on software and media. The only time I'll still download something questionable is when I cannot obtain it legally otherwise.

So surveying people asking if they've ever pirated software is going to be a naturally inflated number, because many of us did when we were kids.

Piracy went up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072453)

Piracy when up during a shitty economy? NO .. WAY ..

Consequences will never be the same! /fear

Democracy (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072473)

And since we live in democratic countries, clearly piracy should be decriminalized.

Ah, yes, representative democracy and majority of MONEY. Never mind, carry on.

P.S. One start to wonder when one thinks about German Pirate Party and their direct democracy drive in relation to this piece of news.

A word of warning to the Pirates out there. (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072475)

Do not look at BSA statistics with remaining (unpatched) eye!

Well... (2)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072477)

57& is a majority, so it's no longer a crime since the majority does it and think it's OK. The BSA can close its doors and die now...

Progression (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072479)

Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and BSA Statistics.

I see a "avoid pirating tax" forcing to pay for BSA associated company software just for owning a computing device (no matter for which use or what will have installed), so won't be an anticompetitive measure of Microsoft, but Congress mandate this time. And then an obligatory agent that must be installed everywhere to be sure that you aren't using any pirated (or competing, or alternative) software. And is just time till they add national security, terrorism and "think on the children" to the mix.

The purpose of law (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072493)

If 57% of people break a law, is it the people's fault, or the law's fault?

Ambiguous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072521)

"Have admitted to using pirated software last year"

Does that mean:
  - in the last year, they admitted they have at least once ran pirated software at some point in their life?
    - they admitted they have ran pirated software in the last 365 days since taking the survey?

I used to pirate. Over a decade ago. It cost me a job through denial of security clearance. Seriously... WTF--the feds really do believe piracy is support of terrorism and equivalent to lifting product at a market. Now I don't pirate. Ever. I'm not sure which one the question means though.

Refusal to pirate cost me a job too... not blatantly, but obviously enough that somebody got audited a few months after I left. Ooops. Previous coworkers got ticked off when I told them if they wanted me to use Word format during travel (they actually did use features that required the real thing), the office could buy a fucking copy, plus a laptop for home and travel use as my personal thinkpad was never going to get windows on it. Or they could piss off. Or effectively fire me by offering 'promotions' without pay it turns out.

"Well that's the industry standard, that's what we pay you to use" -- Then pay for it, bitch. Pay for every last copy. All $500 extra per CPU-user it comes out to. One for the desktop, one for the laptop, another one for the testing machine that you demand be able to read email. And don't forget I'll need the real office--plus upgrades every three years in order to email clients using the latest version. for every seat.

No, not a raise. No, you don't pay me enough to buy an extra copy. No, I won't pay even $20 for an "academic license" with my old university ID --but please do give me that suggestion in writing.

Can't win.

But frankly, it's just easier not to pirate these days. No more maintaining full disk hardware encrypted drives with door breaching shells and strike-anywhere match heads mounted above and below the software raid array, over old IDE drives wrapped magnesium embedded duct-tape and thermite pouches buried inside flowerpots in my extra large server case. No more waking up to loud noises at 4AM and wondering "is now the time to throw the dead man's switch?"

Just not worth it.

If they want to whine about piracy, I won't pirate. And suddenly, the 'computer guy' can no longer answer your questions about office, or it's email setup. Or take screenshots for the CxO late at night to help him before an important meeting.

But you're free to pay extra for a helpdesk technician, or remote desktop support. To pay twice for what they should have been paying full cost for up front.


Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072527)

BSA is British Small Arses, you know. Steve McQueen swore by them, and then he died, but he lived a good life. Only, at the end, he had a whopper of a tummy ache !!

Honest pirates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072531)

It doesn't necessarily mean piracy is on the rise. It could be that people are becoming more honest.

Load-o-crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072533)

I don't have any bootleg software on my machine and don't know anyone who does. Porn, that's another matter.

Do you use software downloaded from the internet? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072551)

You filthy Pirate!
Do you use free software?
You filthy Pirate!
Do you know where your purchase receipt is for your software?
You filthy Pirate!

I bet those were some of the questions.

Re:Do you use software downloaded from the interne (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072565)

What is your MS Office license key?
Don't know off-hand? Pirate!
Happen to know and provide it? Pirate! Disseminated a license key!

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072575)

This doesn't mean there couldn't be possibly ANYTHING wrong with the most commonly used software business models, could there?!

If almost a third of consumers didn't buy a product because it was overpriced or they couldn't afford it, would their industry get the same treatment?

Let He Who Is Without Sin .... (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072597)

More overhyped yet totally meaningless claims by some business with an axe to grind.

Seriously folks, 95% of drivers ARE CRIMINALS but that doesn't mean we need to throw them all in jail.

By the previous claim I mean that pretty much just about *every* driver has broken at least one road-rule (ie The Law) at least once during their driving career.

BSA argument/statistic is clearly based around examples like: if you've *ever* downloaded a "shareware" or otherwise "honor based" paid product but you never paid for it THEN YOU'RE A PIRATE (!!!!!!)

For the life of me I dunno why slashdot gives these people airtime, it's nothing more than FREE ADVERTISING for their business.

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40072609)

The BSA can sucks a dick.

computers or computer users? (1)

issicus (2031176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072615)

one job plus one house equals two ips

I'd like Anonymous to hack these guys (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072625)

I'd really love to see Anonymous hack this outfit to find out A) where the money goes and B) if they themselves use pirated software. This outfit smacks of Soviet-style tattle on your neighbor tactics.

Let's see here now... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072647)


I use Ubuntu. I never paid anybody that $699 'license' fee that SCO claims I owe for some reason or other.

Guess that makes me a software pirate.

Anybody got any tips on getting parrot shit outta my shirts?

BSA (2)

dskoll (99328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072653)

The Bullshit Statistics Association reports that not only to 57% of PC users pirate software, but that software piracy rate among Somali pirates is actually lower than average.

"This epidemic of out-pirating the pirates causes us great concern," said BSA's chairman Slammem N. Jale. "But it's not too late. We have examples of rehabilitated pirates."

"Aaaarggh!", roared Cap'n Bluebeard. "Me mateys and I used ta blow each other ta smithereens with an illegal copy of Mine Sweeper. But we've seen the light and sent our booty ta Microsoft, aargh. What good does gold do ya when yer conscience weight upon ya like a two-ton anchor?"

Jale concludes: "Send us all your money, and you can sleep easy."

And the other half are ninjas... (1)

timboc007 (664810) | more than 2 years ago | (#40072679)

... everyone knows that!
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