Software piracy figures – pass the salt

Hmm. The Irish branch of the BSA claims that the percentage of illegal software used in Ireland stood at 42 percent for 2002.

Does that mean 42 percent of all software running in Ireland is a pirate copy? I wonder if anyone ever audits this figures — qui custodiet etc. The article continues:

‘The lack of improvement on Ireland’s piracy rate can be attributed to the proliferation of Internet piracy … and a certain amount of apathy,’ said Julian McMenamin, BSA Ireland chairman. ‘But whatever the excuse, a piracy rate of 42 percent is appalling.’

Is internet piracy really that widespread in the workplace? I can imagine your typical 15-year-old firing up KaZaa or whatever, but is this really likely for your typical Irish IT staffer? I doubt it, to be honest.

And given Ireland’s broadband woes, it’d probably be cheaper to hop in the car, drive to the local Compustore, and buy it over the counter, just to avoid paying those ISDN charges. ;)

Just to contradict the ‘internet piracy’ statement, in this story, McMenamin then states that ‘a particular problem in Ireland was small and medium-sized companies purchasing a licence that is too small, or not upgrading their licence as their companies grow. An offending company might typically have a 10-user licence but allow 50 people to use the software.’

This is a hell of a lot more likely than the ‘scary internet’ bugbear, but I would still find it very hard to imagine that this is a uniquely Irish problem that could account for Ireland supposedly having nearly twice the rate of piracy of the UK (42% in Ireland vs. the UK’s 26%).

While taking a look at the BSA site, I note that their automated tool, GASP, now exposes the illegal distribution and storage of copyrighted music, apparently: ‘new features in GASP v6.5 include reports that show a complete listing of MP3 files on audited systems’.

I wonder if my collection of MP3s downloaded from, and ripped from albums I bought, would set off its alarms. Given that the MP3 format has no way to differentiate between pirated and non-pirated music, I would imagine so. False positives a go-go!

Patents: Eamon O’Tuathail’s call for action against software patents. The vote of the Legal Affairs Committee of the EP was yesterday, apparently. Wonder how it went…

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