Revulytics Blog

Exposing a Culture of Widespread Software Piracy

February 18, 2011

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"Angry employees tattling on companies that violate software licenses"

Network World's Carolyn Duffy Marsan recently reported on disgruntled IT pros who are blowing the whistle on their companies' use of unlicensed software. She notes that "in a tough economy, disgruntled or fired employees are reporting their questionable software licensing practices and exposing a culture of widespread piracy."

The article cites a survey of 200 IT professionals conducted by Network World that found:

  • 89% of respondents said it was unethical for an IT employee to make a company fall out of compliance with software license agreements
  • 70% said they have directly witnessed other IT staff knowingly violating software licenses
  • 69% said they have directly witnessed IT staff looking the other way when employees use the network to illegally install unlicensed software or share DRM-protected files.

SIIA's Keith Kupferschmid - a panelist on our recent webcast discussion of software license revenue recovery - commented that "ninety-five percent of the people who end up reporting noncompliance are from the IT world." SIIA rewarded whistleblowers with "$127,000 to 24 sources in 2009 and $57,700 to 16 sources in 2010."

Echoing comments made by Keith in our panel discussion this week, the article points out that "the number of reports received by SIIA declined during the 2008 recession because IT professionals were thankful that they had jobs and less likely to betray their employers."

Key Piracy Takeaways

  • The stats show that software piracy is clearly a problem in the corporate world
  • Software piracy whistleblower reports fluctuate with the strength of the economy, making it harder for vendors to measure the impact of piracy and project how much license revenue they can recover
  • We believe that piracy business intelligence offers software vendors a proactive approach to identifying license infringement
  • By measuring the actual use of unlicensed software, vendors are in a better position to make data driven decisions about their piracy strategies

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Michael Goff

Post written by Michael Goff

Marketing Director at Revulytics
Michael is Marketing Director at Revulytics where he is responsible for corporate marketing, content, and social media. He has helped to educate the industry on the benefits of software usage analytics for compliance and product management through the company's blog and contributed articles in trade publications. Michael was previously a marketing programs manager at The MathWorks and principal at Goff Communications. Michael earned a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.