Nearly one in four pieces of software installed in Canada last year was unlicensed: Report

Ever wonder about the impact of software piracy in an age of Software-as-a-Service?

Despite efforts to curb the practice, using unlicensed software is still common.

A new report published by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) indicates that 39 per cent of software installed on PCs worldwide in 2015 was not properly licensed.

This in most cases amounted to billions of dollars in lost revenues, the report suggests, and is only a minor decrease from 43 percent in BSA’s previous global study in 2013.

In the U.S. and China, two countries where piracy of this nature are the most costly, losses are valued at $9.1bn and $8.7bn respectively.

The dollar amount is not proportional to the percentage of software that is unlicensed in each country, however. Among the top 10 countries in value, Indonesia has the highest prevalence of pirated software at 84 per cent, followed by China at 70 per cent and Russia at 64 per cent.

Despite accounting for the highest commercial value, unlicensed software in the U.S. only accounts for 17 per cent of the total.

Canada’s rate, meanwhile, sat at 24 per cent last year, representing a fall of only one percent from 2013. The 2015 figure amounts to $893 million lost in commercial value. In comparison, total worldwide lost value amounted to $52.2bn.

The problem, researchers noted, is that CIOs don’t know how much software employees are installing on company networks and are underestimating the number of employees that do so. The survey found that their estimates hover at 15 per cent of employees, when the reality is nearly double that.

“Even in certain critical industries, where much tighter control of the digital environment would be expected, unlicensed use was surprisingly high,” researchers said in the report. “The survey found the worldwide rate is 25 per cent for the banking, insurance and securities industries.”


Infographic: The Cost of Software Piracy | Statista

Check out the full report here.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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