Piracy rate dips, but Malaysians think illegal software is okay

  • Software piracy rate drops one point to 55%
  • But 78% of users admit they have acquired pirated software

WHILE the software piracy rate in Malaysia took a slight dip to 55% in 2011 from 56% in 2010, anti-piracy watchdog the Business Software Alliance (BSA) may still have an uphill battle on its hands with most Malaysians having no qualms about using illegal software.
According to the 2011 BSA Global Software Piracy Study, 78% of computer users in Malaysia admit they have acquired pirated software. Some users say they pirate “all” or “most of the time,” while others say they do it “occasionally” or “rarely.”
This means that 11 out of 20 programs that users in Malaysia installed were unlicensed. The commercial value of this piracy was US$657 million, or approximately RM2 billion, the BSA said in a statement.
“If 78% of consumers admitted they shoplift — even rarely — authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a similar response: concerted public education and vigorous law enforcement,” said Ronald Chua, Chair of the BSA Malaysia Committee.
The study also found that admitted software pirates in Malaysia are male, and between the ages of 18 and 24.
In trying to put a positive light to BSA’s findings, Chua said, “The continued reduction in software piracy rates, coupled with the recent announcement that Malaysia is no longer in the US Trade Representative’s Watchlist, shows that Malaysia is making good progress in the battle against PC software piracy and is a testament to the efforts of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism.”
In response to the announcement, Mohd Roslan Mahayudin, director of enforcement at the ministry, said “I am pleased to learn that the efforts of the enforcement division over the course of 2011 has been duly rewarded as reflected by the removal of Malaysia from the watchlist and the one-point drop in Malaysia’s PC software piracy rate.”
Globally, the study finds that piracy rates in emerging markets tower over those in mature markets — 68% to 24%, on average — and emerging markets account for an overwhelming majority of the global increase in the commercial value of software theft, the BSA said.
Among the surprising findings is that globally, business decision makers admit to pirating software more frequently than other users — and they are more than twice as likely as others to say they buy software for one computer and then install it on additional machines in their offices.
This is the ninth annual study of global software piracy conducted by BSA in partnership with IDC and Ipsos Public Affairs. The study methodology involved collecting 182 discrete data inputs and assessing PC and software trends in 116 markets.
This year’s study also included a survey of 15,000 computer users in 33 countries that together constitute 82% of the global PC market.

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