Code Confidential: The V.i. Labs Blog
Partly Cloudy with a (Good) Chance of Piracy
I’ll avoid sounding like Henny Penny and saying that the sky is falling, but by now you have probably seen the latest from the BSA about piracy in the cloud. The sky may not be falling, but assumptions about the cloud being the answer to piracy should be.
The BSA’s CEO, Robert Holleyman, discusses a recent survey BSA conducted that found that “45 percent of all computer users say they use ‘online services that let you create, manage, and store documents, spreadsheets, photos or other digital content so that you can access them from any computer by logging on through the Internet.’” In emerging markets, the number jumps to 50 percent, compared to mature economies where it drops to an average of 33 percent.
More interesting (but not surprising), however, is “the fact that 42 percent of the people who use paid cloud services for business say they share their log-in credentials inside their organizations. This points to a worrisome new avenue for software license abuse, and it is the latest sign that piracy is evolving in the cloud era, rather than dying out.” (emphasis added)
Holleyman does point out that “credential-sharing within organizations does not always amount to pirating cloud services” and that sharing credentials may or may not be allowed under the terms of their service agreements. While Holleyman goes on to note that “56 percent of the people who use paid cloud services for business believe it’s wrong for co-workers to share log-in credentials,” Of course, this also means that 44 percent of people using paid cloud services do not believe it is wrong to share credentials.
The bottom line is that piracy will continue to be a problem for software providers regardless of how it is delivered. Counterfeit CDs, file sharing sites, torrent index sites, cyberlockers, and the rest all point to the power, creativity and ubiquity of getting pirated software into the hands of the people who want it.
Leading software vendors recognize this reality of the business and are using software intelligence to focus their efforts on the users of pirated software and are converting them to paying customers. Check out our recent webcast with IDC’s Amy Konary where she reviews the state of software piracy today and discusses steps that software vendors can take to identify sources of piracy and generate revenue.