China piracy cost software industry $20bn in 2010

May 12, 2011
A pirated copy of Microsoft Windows Vista readily available in southern China is shown in Hong Kong, 2007. Piracy cost the global software industry more than $20 billion in losses in the China market last year despite the increasing use of legitimate programmes, an official survey showed.

Piracy cost the global software industry more than $20 billion in losses in the China market last year despite the increasing use of legitimate programmes, an official survey showed Thursday.

Pirated software is estimated to have cost the industry 130.9 billion yuan ($20.1 billion) in 2010, up 1.55 percent from a year ago, according to the survey funded by the State Intellectual Property Office.

That accounted for nine percent of China's total , down from 12 percent in 2009, according to the survey, which covered more than 4,800 individual and corporate respondents across the country.

"The use of legitimate software is increasing steadily," said the survey, conducted by Internet research firm Chinalabs.

The decline in the rate of piracy was due to factors including the emergence of homegrown, low-cost legitimate software, the increasing number of free programmes on offer and a more diversified , it said.

Programming tools, industry-specific software, and Microsoft's Office package and similar products were the most often pirated, followed by software for web page design and security management, it added.

China's counterfeit and piracy market is the biggest in the world, and in the country has long been a sticking point in Sino-US relations.

The United States earlier this month said China was making progress on improving protection of but voiced concern about Beijing's longer term commitment.

It kept the country on this year's "priority watch list" for weak protection of intellectual property rights.

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User comments : 2

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Alphakronik
5 / 5 (2) May 12, 2011
It is quite possible that if MS, Apple, and Adobe were to price their software more closely aligned with cost, they wouldn't be having this issue.

Let me cry Mr. Gates and Mr. Jobs a river.....one sec......I know I got a tear somwhere..... it's coming......
Pixelgrease
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2011
If it were not possible to pirate software:
- people would run Linux
- people would run open source software
- fewer people would buy legal Windows software

For example, employee [Joe] knows product Photoshop because he pirated it. [Joe] works for [Intel]. [Joe] gets [Intel] to license Photoshop because it is what [Joe] knows. If Joe could not pirate Photoshop, he would use a free alternative, like Gimp. He would probably use Gimp at work too if he had never used Photoshop before. That is a real world example which resulted in 3 licenses as [Joe] changed companies.

The idea that $20B was lost due to piracy is absurd. Certainly there are some legitimate lost sales, but without it people would use free alternatives at home *and in business*.

If the Chinese could not pirate Windows they would not run it. There would be almost zero Windows software sales because the people running Windows would be few and far between and the "kid who can fix your computer" would only know Linux.

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