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12-05-2009 IT/BSA source: PeppeR

Controversial trends characterize 2008

Piracy of software on personal computers (PC) in Hungary remained at 42% in 2008, while half of the 110 countries studied saw piracy rates drop and only 15% increased. Industry losses, due to software piracy, in Hungary rose to $146 million in 2008.


These are among the findings of the sixth annual global PC software piracy study released today by the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The study covers 110 countries and was conducted independently by IDC, the information technology (IT) industry's leading global market research and forecasting firm.

"This sheer number however doesn't reveal the dynamics behind the development of piracy in Hungary. After many years of stagnation we finally noticed a decrease of software piracy," said Gabor Sarlos, spokesperson of BSA in Hungary. "There were a number of promising signs during the first 8 months of 2008. Both sales reports from individual members and government sources spoke about a positive trend regarding the results in anti-piracy efforts in Hungary. However, the last 4 months of 2008 saw a turn and a sharp decline in the trend: more and more information confirms that the outbreak of the economic recession lead a number of company managers to take a short cut and use illegal software. In these uncertain economic times it is vital that companies do not skip corners and use unlicensed software, as this would increase the detrimental impact on those businesses, consumers as well as the local and global economy. Unfortunately this trend still continues this calendar year, which will be reflected in next year's piracy study."

The piracy rate in Hungary has remained a steady 42% during the last 4 years. This is in a considerable part due to concentrated anti-piracy efforts of industry members and the consequent realization by a growing awareness among company managers of the of importance of using licensed software. The most outstanding achievement of 2008 were the strong results of HENT, the joint program of the Hungarian government and a wide range of industries to fight counterfeit and piracy. BSA and the IT industry has played a crucial role in bringing this initiative alive and creating and running nation wide programs against piracy.

Software piracy affects much more than just industry revenues. An IDC study released in January 2008 found in the case of Hungary, reducing the 42% software piracy rate, merely in the case of software produced by BSA members for PCs, by 10 percentage points - during 4 years would have a "multiplier effect" and increase economic benefits significantly. The 10% reduction would help generate 1.094 additional jobs, 47 billion HUF in the performance of the Hungarian economy as well as add 11 billion HUF (63 million $) in tax revenues.

Other key findings from the study:

ˇ Among the 110 countries studied, PC software piracy dropped in fifty-seven countries, stayed the same in thirty-six and increased in only sixteen. (Georgia is a new country in the study.) However, because the worldwide PC market grew fastest in high-piracy countries, the worldwide piracy rate increased by three percentage points to 41% in 2008.

ˇ In Europe, the highest-piracy countries were Ukraine (84%), Albania (77%) and Serbia (74%). Among the lowest-piracy countries were Luxemburg (21%) and Austria (24%). The average of the European Union remained at 35%. Russia has made the most progress, with a one-year drop of five points to 68 percent.

ˇ While emerging economies account for 45 percent of the global PC hardware market, they account for less than 20 percent of the PC software market. If the emerging economies' PC software share were the same as it is for PC hardware, the software market would grow by $40 billion a year. Also, lowering global piracy by just one point a year would add $20 billion in stimulus to the IT industry.

ˇ Spreading Internet access will increase the supply of pirated software. Over the next five years, 460 million people in emerging countries will come online. The growth will be highest among consumers and small businesses, which tend to have higher rates of piracy than businesses and government agencies.

The global economic recession is having a mixed impact on software piracy, the study says. John Gantz, Chief Research officer at IDC, notes that consumers with reduced spending power may hold on to computers longer, which would tend to increase piracy because older computers are more likely to have unlicensed software loaded on them. However, pocketbook pressures are spurring sales of inexpensive 'netbooks', which tend to come with legitimate pre-loaded software, and business use of software asset management (SAM) programs to lower IT costs.

"In any case, the cost of software is only one factor driving software piracy," Gantz says. "The economic crisis will have an impact, part of it negative, part of it positive, but it will be one of many factors and it may not become fully apparent until the 2009 figures come in."

BSA advocates a five-point 'blueprint' for reducing software piracy and reaping the economic benefits:

ˇ Increase public education and awareness of the value of intellectual property and the risks of using unlicensed software;

ˇ Update national copyright laws to implement World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) obligations in order to enable better and more effective enforcement against digital and online piracy;

ˇ Create strong enforcement mechanisms as required by the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), including tough anti-piracy laws;

ˇ Dedicate significant government resources to the problem, including national IP enforcement units, cross-border cooperation, and training for local officers and judiciary officials; and

ˇ Lead by example by implementing software management policies and requiring the public sector to use only legitimate software.

The study covers 110 countries and was conducted independently by IDC, the information technology (IT) industry's leading global market research and forecasting firm. It covers piracy of all packaged software that run on personal computers, including desktops, laptops, and ultra-portables. The study does not include other types of software such as server- or mainframe-based software. IDC used proprietary statistics for software and hardware shipments and enlisted IDC analysts in more than sixty countries to confirm software piracy trends.

For more details or a copy of the complete study, visit

About BSA
The Business Software Alliance ( is the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world. BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry and its hardware partners before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members represent one of the fastest growing industries in the world. BSA programs foster technology innovation through education and policy initiatives that promote copyright protection, cyber security, trade and e-commerce. BSA members include Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, Bentley Systems, CA, Cisco Systems, Corel, CyberLink, Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation, Dell, Embarcadero, HP, IBM, Intel, Intuit, McAfee, Microsoft, Minitab, Quark, Quest Software, Rosetta Stone, SAP, Siemens, Sybase, Symantec, and The MathWorks.

About IDC
IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community makes fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 45 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

  links: downloadable documents:
  2008 Piracy Study Rates and Losses FINAL
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