40% of Canadians Pirate Software at Economic Cost of $1.1 Billion Annually: Report

40% computer users in Canada admit they have acquired pirated software, the Business Software Alliance reported today. According to the 2011 BSA Global Software Piracy Study, 27% of all copies of software were unlicensed last year in Canada. The BSA pegs the commercial value of this priacy at more than $1.1 billion.

“If 40% of consumers admitted they shoplift—even rarely—authorities would react by increasing police patrols and penalties. Software piracy demands a similar response: concerted public education and vigorous law enforcement,” affirms Jacquie Famulak, Chairman of the BSA Canada Committee.   

14% of admitted software pirates in Canada surveyed in the study say they acquire software illegally “all of the time,” “most of the time” or “occasionally,” while 26% say they do so only “rarely.” The study also found that admitted software pirates in Canada are predominantly male between the ages of 25 and 34.   

“Software piracy persists as a drain on the global economy, IT innovation and job creation,” said BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman. “Governments must take steps to modernize their IP laws and expand enforcement efforts to ensure that those who pirate software face real consequences.”   

Globally, the study finds that piracy rates in emerging markets tower over those in mature markets—68% to 24%, on average—and emerging markets account for an overwhelming majority of the global increase in the commercial value of software theft.