Dubai: Over half of the world`s personal computer users, 57 per cent to be precise, admit to pirating software, according to a new study.
According to the ninth annual global software piracy study by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in partnership with IDC and Ipsos Public Affairs, 31 per cent say they do it "all of the time", "most of the time" or "occasionally" and another 26 per cent admit to having stolen software but only "rarely".
These are among the findings of a survey of nearly 15,000 computer users across 33 countries conducted as part of the study.
According to the report, the commercial value of this shadow market of pirated software climbed from USD 58.8 billion in 2010 to USD 63.4 billion in 2011, a new record, propelled by PC shipments to emerging economies where piracy rates are highest.
"The gap in spending on legal software in emerging and mature economies is stubbornly persistent. For example, China spends less than a quarter of the amount that Russia, India, and Brazil spend on a per-PC basis and just 7 per cent of the amount the United States spends," it said.
Users who say they pirate the most software are disproportionately young and male ? and they install more software of all types on their computers than other users do. Business decision makers admit to pirating software more frequently than other computer users do.
Public opinion continues to support intellectual property (IP) rights: Seven PC users in 10 support paying innovators to promote more technological advances, the study said.
Software piracy losses in the Gulf countries rose to USD 850 million last year, up 11.55 per cent over the USD 762 million incurred in 2010 due to the unprecedented growth of the IT industry, the study revealed.