Code Confidential: The V.i. Labs Blog
Software Piracy & Protection: Your Week In Review, August 27th – 31st
Today V.i. Labs launches the first in a continuing series where we scour the internet for the most interesting news on software piracy and the related topics of software licensing and protection. We understand everyone is experiencing an information overload these days and our weekly news summary is designed to distill the news most relevant to you. So follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google+ and sign up for the RSS feed and stay up to date with information critical to the future of the software industry.
Nigeria has a huge software piracy problem
According to BusinessDay, eight out of ten Nigerian software users are using pirated copies. As in most developing nations, a big reason users are turning to piracy is price. For a legal copy of Microsoft Office a Nigerian would have to pay about $110, compared to only $1 for a pirated version. That’s a big difference in a country with a GDP per capita (PPP) of only $2,600. It makes sense Microsoft office would have an 85% piracy rate. Here are some more interesting numbers from the report:
- 53% of users would buy legal copies if the prices were lower.
- 24% said they would buy originals if pirated copies had a negative impact on their computers.
- Only 9% would switch to originals if there were harsher punishments.
BSA pushes for Armenia to crack down harder on software piracy
According to the BSA’s most recent figures, 88% of software in Armenia is unlicensed; down from a high of 93% in 2007. While many would consider this a significant reduction, unsurprisingly, the BSA claims Armenia is still not doing enough to combat software piracy. Much of the credit goes to the BSA itself. Acting on behalf of Microsoft, the BSA has exposed numerous local firms for unlicensed use demanding compensation for their client’s losses. However, government officials calling for stricter IP laws and harsher sentencing are being labeled as hypocrites by Armenian businesses, who claim there is an 80% rate of piracy in the public sector.
DOJ takes down pirated mobile app sites
Software piracy is not limited to desktop applications and the Department of Justice has taken notice. For the first time the DOJ tackled this growing problem by shutting down three web domains associated with Android app piracy. In a statement Assistant US Attorney General Breuer said “Cracking down on piracy of copyrighted works–including popular apps–is a top priority of the Criminal Division. […] Software apps have become an increasingly essential part of our nation’s economy and creative culture, and the Criminal Division is committed to working with our law-enforcement partners to protect the creators of these apps and other forms of intellectual property from those who seek to steal it.”
MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd praises GOP for anti-piracy stance
Chris Dodd, the former Democratic Senator from Connecticut and chief lobbyist for the Motion Pictures Association of America, has recently come out to praise his old rivals in the GOP. In an official statement Dodd said, “I agree wholeheartedly with my friends in the Republican Party that we must protect the free flow of information on the internet while also protecting American innovators. It is imperative to our national economy and our national identity that we protect an Internet that works for everyone.” Dodd was in the news recently for being one of the most vocal supporters of the highly controversial anti-piracy laws, SOPA and PIPA. Both proposed pieces of legislation were defeated in committee after they sparked mass protests over the internet.
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