Swedes pirating more software

Despite Sweden having one of the lowest pirate copying rates in Europe, the software industry is still losing an increasing amount of money, a new study has shown.

John Hugosson, chairman of BSA (Business Software Alliance) in Sweden said the national industry has lost billions of kronor during the past year.

Sweden has one of the lowest use rates of pirated programs among some 97 countries analyzed, according to a study funded by BSA. Pirate copied programs in Sweden have inched up one percent to 27 percent during 2005 compared to 2004.

The estimated amount of money lost to such illegal programs grew from 2.2 billion kronor to 2.5 billion kronor during the same period.

The global average of pirate-copied software in other countries is near 35 percent, and the EU average is 36 percent. Countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal inflate the average. In Greece, more than 60 percent of used programs are copied, according to the study.

IDC, the company which was hired to conduct the study for BSA, said in a study last year that if the world were to reduce the use of pirated copies 10 percent – to 25 percent in total – it would mean 2.4 million additional jobs, $400 billion (2.9 trillion kronor) in economic growth and $67 billion (490 billion kronor) in new tax money.

In 51 of the investigated countries the use of illegal copies dropped ,and in 19 countries the number increased. Ukraine, India, and China – all lands that once topped the list – have reduced their rates of use.

Still, pirated programs are virtually synonymous with China. The study said at least 80 percent of programs are illegal. Nearly 90 percent of programs in Zimbabwe are copies, and Central Europe and Eastern Europe are not far behind with 70 percent of programs being illegal.

“The steps forward made to minimize pirate copying within several growth markets are positive, but when more than a third of software are still pirate copies, it shows much more needs to be done,” BSA spokesman Robert Holleyman said.