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Over half of all computer users admit to pirating software

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If you've ever downloaded software illegally, you're not alone

Have you ever downloaded software illegally online, or installed software on more than one computer when you didn't have the right to? If so, you're not alone: over half of people with computers admit to pirating software.

According to the annual BSA Global Software Piracy Study, 57% of computer users were willing to admit that they pirate software. All told, that adds up to an estimated $63.4 billion worth of software, though there's no way to tell how much of that hurts software makers' bottom line.

Males pirate more than women, and more pirates — 68% — come from "emerging markets" (read: those who can't afford to buy software) than from "mature" markets that account for 24% of the total. The problem is at its worst in China, where the piracy rate is 77%. The study also found that businesses pirate more software than private users.

Part of the reason for such a high piracy rate is partially due to people looking to save a few bucks, of course, but there are likely other causes too. Adobe Photoshop is a frequent target of software pirates because the ultra-useful software is so expensive ($699) — pirates likely wouldn't buy Photoshop if piracy wasn't an option. Other pirates are downloading older software that simply isn't available for sale anymore.

[Image credit: The Pirate Bay]

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This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Tecca

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