Half of all software in Brazil is pirated

Users continue to use counterfeit copies despite the rise of SaaS and lower pricing.

Counterfeit copies account for 50 percent of the Brazilian software market, according to numbers from the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES).

The number has been released as part of the National Anti-Piracy Day last week, when the Brazilian software association destroyed over 2 million fake software copies. The material had been confiscated as a result of search operations for pirated software carried out by the police over the last few years.

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Back in the 1980s, unauthorized copies accounted for about 90 percent of the Brazilian software market. The situation has improved ever since but the country has a long way to go in terms of reducing piracy despite the rise of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model and reduced prices, according to legal head at ABES, Manoel Antonio dos Santos.

"We have worked on this for more than three decades and we still have half of all computers in the country running unauthorized software. There is still a lot to be done regarding intellectual property in Brazil," Santos says.

The market of licensed software generates approximately $2.9bn in Brazil per year, but without piracy it would generate twice as much, according to a separate study by the Business Software Alliance.