According to the findings of a recent study, more than half of computers users admit to using pirate software. Factor-in the people too ashamed or embarrassed to fess up and you're looking at even higher levels of guilt.
The study was undertaken by The Business Software Alliance. It involved a survey questioning 15,000 computer-using folk from 33 different countries. They were asked "how often do you acquire pirated software or software that is not fully licensed?" and 57 per cent of them responded suggesting they used pirate or "not-fully-licensed" software. This is up 15 per cent from 2011, and the BSA says that younger users pirate more software, and are also the "the most voracious software users."
The BSA reports that piracy costs the software industry $63.4 billion annually, which is more than the GDP of Croatia. As with any study, though, it's important to remember who is running the show. The Business Software Alliance is a lobbyist group for the software industry, with the aim of combating digital piracy, and we're not sure what positive gems the survey may also have unearthed.
On the doom and gloom side, the survey report finds that "frequent pirates in emerging economies install nearly four times as many programs of all sorts per new PC as do frequent pirates in mature markets." The BSA wants new US legislation to bring about greater fines for software pirates, and make jailing pirates easier. Members of the BSA include Intel, Apple, Autodesk and Adobe Systems.