Software piracy still rife in Brazil

Software piracy still rife in Brazil

Summary: Half of all licenses in use are not original - but the situation is even worse in other Latin countries


About 50 percent of all software licenses in Brazil are not original - but piracy is going down in relation to previous years, according to a Business Software Alliance (BSA) study.

The BSA research carried out by IDC suggests that despite the fact the percentage of pirate software in use is still high, it is progressively decreasing: in 2007, about 59 percent of all software in Brazil was not obtained from official sources and in 2011, it was 53 percent.

The market of licensed software generates approximately $2.9bn in Brazil per year, but without piracy it would generate twice as much, according to the BSA research, which highlights that most of the piracy in Brazil occurs inside corporate environments - firms will either use pirate software only or buy some licenses and use mostly fake copies.

However, Brazil is doing better than its Latin American neighbors when the subject is piracy: the study suggests that the unlicensed software rates in Argentina and Venezuela are 69 percent and 88 percent respectively. Other countries where piracy levels are high include China with 74 percent and Indonesia with 84 percent.

According to the BSA, the uptake of more accessible cloud computing tools such as Google Docs should help lower piracy. A separate study by Frost & Sullivan suggests that the Brazilian cloud computing market should see a jump in market revenues from $328.8m in 2013 to $1.1bn by 2017.

The BSA study on software piracy has been carried out since 2007 and the latest edition involved 22,000 domestic and business users, as well as 2,000 IT managers in 34 countries.

Topics: Piracy, Software, Cloud Priorities

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  • The assumption once again is...

    ...that every instance of illegal copying is a lost sale. Logic dictates that it can't possibly be the case; rather, if there were no illegal copying of brand name products, many who couldn't afford to buy the brand name would either do without or choose a cheaper alternative. Thus each instance of illegal copying is a fraction of a lost sale; how big is a matter of debate, but I doubt it's more than half.

    The other question that arises is how much does Brazil lose by not enforcing foreign copyrights? I'm guessing not much, which would be why enforcement has not been a big priority.
    John L. Ries
    • Noting...

      ...that one of the reasons why I favor respecting and enforcing copyrights is that illegal copying:

      1. Depresses the market for alternative products.
      2. Encourages disrespect for the rule of law generally (noting that the most likely alternative to the rule of law is arbitrary government; not greater freedom).
      John L. Ries
    • In theory, Brazil does enforce copyrights

      Brazilian law does provide for high fines and even prison terms for software piracy and other forms of copyright infringement. However, the country is huge and there simply aren't enough resources to enforce that effectively, other than occasional media campaigns and putting on occasional displays of force with some very visible case - always to no avail. There is also a cultural issue: most Brazilians are not likely to be easily convinced to pay for something that is intangible, especially when the price appears to be out of pace with their perception of value, and this is very often the case with software. They will reason that they are simply protecting themselves from vile exploitation.

      The other side of the coin is that Brazil is one of the most loyal Microsoft fortresses in the whole world. Virtually nobody in Brazil has ever heard that Macs even exist, Linux is a curiosity for a handful of aficionados and a few IT shops, and Windows and Office are ubiquitous. This wouldn't have been possible to the degree of nearly universal and absolute adoption one sees in Brazil without widespread piracy of Microsoft products making them so popular. The same applies to Adobe and other software companies.
      • Strict laws are of little value...

        ...unless they're effectively and impartially enforced; indeed they're actually counterproductive.

        And the effects of ineffective enforcement that I would expect are exactly what you describe: an MS-fortress where those who can't afford to buy MS-products pirate them, and alternatives are almost unknown because hardly anyone is motivated to seek them out.

        This is actually a rather cozy situation for MS.
        John L. Ries
  • B..S...

    Direct quote from their website....... "Payment of the Reward must be consistent with the objectives of the BSA program. BSA reserves its right to deny the payment of a Reward or to revoke the Reward Program at any time, without notice, for any reason" You'd be better off blackmailing the company
    • So what are the objectives of the BSA program?

      I was under the impression that it was enforcement of members' copyrights.
      John L. Ries