Value of PC software theft in Nigeria reaches $255 million, says BSA

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The commercial value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers in Nigeria has reached $225 million in 2010 even as 82 percent of software deployed on PCs during the year was pirated, according to a new study by Business Software Alliance, (BSA).

Nigeria’s piracy rate, according to  the Business Software Alliance (BSA) 2010 Global Software Piracy Study, which evaluates the state of software piracy around the world.

However, the commercial value of pirated software, according to BSA study  has increased from $100 million in 2006 to $225 million in 2010.

These are among the findings of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) 2010 Global Software Piracy Study, which evaluates the state of software piracy around the world.

“These findings show that little progress has been made in reducing the software piracy rate in Nigeria and there is still much more work to be done,”  Dale Waterman, Chair, BSA Middle East and Africa Committee, said, adding that, “The further we reduce software piracy, the better it will be for the country’s economy.”

For Emmanuel Onyeje, General Manager Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, clearly, there is a strong appreciation for the value delivered by legal software.

“The results reinforce the need to educate users that software downloaded from P2P networks is often illegal, and installing software purchased for one computer on multiple home or office PCs is piracy.” he added.

Similarly, in the words of   Robert Holleyman, BSA president and CEO, “Today’s study shows that while piracy continues to threaten the global economy, people clearly understand and appreciate the value of intellectual property, especially its role in driving economic growth,”

“Software theft continues to stifle IT innovation, job creation, and economic growth around the world. This report clearly shows the importance of educating businesses, government officials, and end users about the risks of software theft — and what they can do to stop it.”, he added.

Meanwhile, this is the eighth study of global software piracy to be conducted by BSA in partnership with IDC, the IT industry’s leading market research and forecasting firm, using a methodology that incorporates 182 discrete data inputs for 116 countries and regions around the world.

This year’s study also includes a new dimension: a public-opinion survey of PC users on key social attitudes and behaviors related to software piracy, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

Globally, the opinion survey found strong support for intellectual property rights, with seven in 10 respondents expressing support for paying inventors for their creations to promote more technology advances. Strikingly, support for intellectual property rights was strongest in markets with high piracy rates.

The survey also found widespread recognition in both developed and developing nations that licensed software is better than pirated software, because it is understood to be more secure and more reliable. The problem is many PC users lack a clear understanding of whether common ways of acquiring software, such as buying a single program license for multiple computers or downloading a program from a peer-to-peer network, are likely to be legal or illegal.
Additional findings from the study include:

* Globally, the value of software theft grew to a record $59 billion — nearly double that when the study began in 2003.
* Half of the 116 geographies studied in 2010 had piracy rates of 62 percent or higher, with the global average piracy rate at 42 percent.

* Emerging economies have become a driving force behind PC software piracy. Piracy rates in the developing world are 2.5 times higher than those in the developed world, and the commercial value of pirated software ($31.9 billion) accounts for more than half of the world total.

* The most cited advantages of licensed software globally are access to technical assistance (88 percent) and protection from hackers and malware (81 percent).

* Among the common ways people in engage in piracy is to buy a single copy of software and install it on multiple computers.

* Strong majorities of PC users around the world believe intellectual property rights and protections produce tangible economic benefits: 59 percent globally say IP rights benefit local economies, while 61 percent globally say IP rights create jobs.

The 2010 BSA Global Software Piracy Study covers piracy of all software that runs on PCs, including desktops, laptops, and ultra-portables, including netbooks. This includes operating systems, systems software, such as databases and security packages, and applications software, with legitimate free software and open source software covered by the scope of the study.

New this year, BSA retained Ipsos Public Affairs to survey more than 15,000 business and consumer PC users in order to provide more insight into key social attitudes and behaviors related to intellectual property and the use of licensed versus unlicensed software.

The surveys were conducted, online or in-person, in 32 markets that make up a globally representative sample of geographies, levels of IT sophistication, and cultural diversity.w.bsa.org) is the world’s foremost advocate for the software industry, working in 80 countries to expand software markets and create conditions for innovation and growth.

By Emeka Aginam

In : Technology

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