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2 minute read
27 May 2016
3:38 pm

A third of software in SA is pirated


Despite drop, the value of unlicensed software in use is R4.3 billion.


A new research report has pegged the software piracy rate in South Africa at 33%, a one percentage point decline since the country was last surveyed in 2013.

The report, by BSA The Software Alliance (formerly known as the Business Software Alliance) has found that South Africa is performing well compared to the rest of Africa and the Middle East, which has an overall rate of 57% unlicensed software use — where piracy is down by two percentage points in the past three years.

The reason for the drop in the rate across the region was the decrease of the consumer share of PC shipments, along with business-orientated intellectual property protection efforts and a migration to subscription-based software, the BSA said.

“We are happy to see the rate of unlicensed software use has dropped again. We believe this progress is in part a result of the successful cooperation between the South African government and the software industry, including the recent joint initiative between the BSA, the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission and Dalro on raising awareness among South African companies on intellectual property and driving software license compliance” said Billa Coetsee, chair of South African Committee of the BSA in a statement.

However, the value of unlicensed software in use in South Africa is US$274 million (R4.3 billion), which the BSA described as “very high”.

The survey canvassed consumers, IT managers and enterprise PC users.

Other key figures from the latest survey include the fact that 39% of software installed on computers around the world in 2015 was not properly licensed, representing a “modest” decrease from 43% in 2013, and that even in critical industries, unlicensed use is surprisingly high. The survey found the worldwide rate is 25% for the banking, insurance and securities industries.

The region with the highest overall rate of unlicensed software is Asia-Pacific at 61%, followed by Central and Eastern Europe at 58%. North America has the lowest regional rate at 17%, although this constitutes a significant commercial value of $10 billion (close to R160 billion).

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