Software Pirates Swipe Billions in Booty

Software pirates, whether they’re selling knock-off copies of popular games or stolen versions of Microsoft Office, continue to make a killing at the expense of vendors, according to the latest data from IDC and the Business Software Alliance.

Greed, desperation and, most of all, the wide availability of low-cost, high-performance PCs and Internet connectivity continues to makesoftware piracy a popular line of work for thieves around the globe.

New PC sales in Brazil, India and China alone accounted for 86 percent of the total worldwide PC shipment growth, creating an even larger pool of would-be counterfeiters and crooks for software companies to fend off.

But as eSecurity Planet found, increased prosecution and stiff prison sentences have helped deter some would-be crooks, but the total value of software pirated in the U.S. last year surged to more than $8.4 billion.

Lower PC prices and improved Internet access around the world has resulted in the unintended consequence of increased trafficking of counterfeit and stolen software applications, according to the latest study by the Business Software Alliance and IDC.

Despite the best efforts of law enforcement and industry watchdogs, the total value of pirated software moved through online sites such as eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) increased 43 percent in 2009 to more than $51 billion in commercial value.

According to IDC, piracy rates increased in 19 countries in 2009, up from 16 in 2008.

Read the full story at eSecurity Planet:

Software Piracy Cost Companies $51B: BSA

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