Eight states account for $4.2B loss to software piracy

The Business Software Alliance has released a study that concludes that the theft and use of illegal software in eight states'California, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, New York and Texas'account for almost one-half of the nation's revenues lost from pirated software last year.

Out of 108 countries BSA studied, the United States had the lowest piracy rate in 2007. Still, one out of every five pieces of software used in this country is illegal. And because the United States is the world's largest software market, it incurred more revenue losses from piracy than any other country.

Software piracy in these eight states alone cost software vendors about $4.2 billion, which is higher than the national figure for all other countries in the world except China, the study said.

The losses caused a ripple effect in local communities. The $11.4 billion in revenues lost to the larger group of software distributors and service providers would have been enough to hire 54,000 high-tech industry workers, while the $1.7 billion in lost state and local tax revenues would have been enough to build 100 middle schools or 10,800 affordable housing units or hire nearly 25,000 police officers.

'The most tragic aspect is that the lost revenues to tech companies and local governments could be supporting thousands of good jobs and much-needed social services in our communities,' said Neil MacBride, BSA general counsel and vice president of anti-piracy.

The 2007 State Piracy Study is available for download here .

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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