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UK Has Big Software Piracy Problems Says BSA Report

The extent of the software piracy issue in the United Kingdom was highlighted in the sixth annual BSA-IDC global software piracy study.

Around 27 percent of software installed in the country are pirated, which is much higher than in the US (20 percent), on par with Germany but way smaller than France (41 percent). Georgia remains the undisputed piracy champion with a staggering 95 percent of pirated applications.

Overall though, the piracy rate in the UK has stabilised at around 27 percent over the past five years although its monetary value has shot up from $1837 to $2181 (adjusted to $1997 due to exchange rate fluctuations) from 2007 to 2008. This, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), amounts to a not-so insignificant £1.49 billion.

The anti-piracy organisation has stepped up its campaign to reduce piracy by offering money to those who would denounce companies and firms which indulge in piracy. Furthermore, there are claims that software piracy could damage UK's chances of becoming a technology powerhouse.

Alyna Cope, a spokesperson for the BSA UK, said that : “Much more needs to be done by the industry and government to warn businesses and consumers of the risks associated with under-licensed software. The government must also warn businesses and consumers of the risks associated with under-licensed software from a legal, financial and operational point of view,”

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Our Comments

Unlike piracy in many other countries (especially developing ones), piracy in the UK is more casual. The mode of transmission is significantly different as well. Rather than DVDs or CDs (as it is the case especially in Asia), software piracy in Britain is done mainly through the internet.

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Software piracy cost UK industry £1.49 billion in 2008 (opens in new tab)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.