Piracy and free software not always counted

Wednesday, 24 July 2002, 7:02 PM EST

The annual software piracy statistics - published by trade groups the US Business Software Association (BSA) and Business Software Association of Australia (BSAA) - are compiled from several sources but none take into account the growing use of open-source desktop applications.

The figures are potent weapons in a public relations war to chide users into registering software, lobby governments for stricter enforcement of intellectual property laws and to justify harsher legal penalties.

Piracy has become an increasing problem with the spread of broadband networks and software, such as Napster and KaZaA, that allow users to easily share digital content such as software, music and video.

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