Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The state of software piracy in Korea and globally

The Business Software Alliance (Korean language homepage here) has released its ninth annual study of software piracy around the world, and it contains some interesting data that show South Korea's changing place in this picture.  The report, entitled Shadow Market:  2011 BSA Global Software Piracy Study, shows that the United States led the list of top twenty economies in commercial value of pirated software with a value of over $9.7 billion, followed by China, Russia and India.  The web presentation of the report contains an interesting animated globe graphic.  One of the reports statistics is the percentage of people in each nation who admit to pirating software.  Sixty-nine percent of South Koreans admitted to doing so, compared with only 31 percent of Americans.  Globally, 57 percent of consumers admitted to pirating software.
South Korea ranked 16th on the list with the commercial value of pirated software measured at $815 million.
More significant than South Korea's current world ranking is the trend in this country over recent years, as it has come to have a greater stake in the protection of intellectual property.   As shown in the accompanying table (click to see a full-size version), the software piracy rate in Korea has decreased from 43 percent in 2007 to 40 percent in 2011, a pattern also shown in other Asia-Pacific nations.   However, note that the overall commercial value of pirated software increased, despite the decreasing rate of piracy.

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