Revulytics Blog

Software Piracy - What a Week!

May 18, 2010

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Wow - where to begin? The last seven days have been abuzz with software piracy in the news.

BSA/IDC Software Piracy Study

Let's start with the publishing of the Seventh Annual BSA/IDC Global Software Piracy Study. Matthew Schwartz at InformationWeek had a nice article (in which V.i. Labs was quoted), but we have some additional thoughts:

Piracy Study

  • Despite continuing comments on the accuracy of the numbers, the report is a good barometer for understanding global conditions.
  • However, because the study necessarily aggregates all packaged software that runs on PCs, it does not speak to the impact of software piracy on specific application types (e.g., CAD, EDA, etc. or even consumer vs. business applications)
  • Software piracy only has an impact on a vendor if it is actually being used by a business that could pay for it.
  • Vendors can gain greater understanding of the specific impact of piracy on them by leveraging a piracy business intelligence approach to identify the businesses actually using unlicensed software. Then they can decide on the right strategy, whether it is revenue recovery (through sales or legal teams) or increasing their presence in a particular geography or industry (directly or through partners and resellers).
  • Our customers are using CodeArmor Intelligence to do this and have received hundreds of thousands of infringement reports and have begun recovering millions of dollars in license revenues. CodeArmor is used by leading software producers to protect more than $5 billion in revenues.

Even with relatively low piracy rates, the size of the technology markets in North America and Western Europe led to a combined $21 billion in unlicensed software in 2009 (41% of the worldwide value) – highlighting a significant opportunity for revenue recovery by those ISVs who can identify and report on the businesses actually using their software without a license.

Pirate Bay Taken Offline (oh wait, they're back again)

A German court issued an injunction against The Pirate Bay's bandwidth provider that temporarily took the site offline. When the site came back today, they didn't exactly seem repentant - perhaps quite the opposite as their homepage showed (click to enlarge):

Lol Cat

Not to sound like a broken record (skipping MP3?), but attacking the distribution channels is like playing Whac-a-Mole and the resiliency of sites like The Pirate Bay are proof of this.

2010 CODiE Awards

OK, this isn't specifically software piracy news, but our CodeArmor Platform was selected as a winner of the prestigious CODiE Awards for “Best DRM Solution.”

A couple of points:

  • The BSA/IDC study cited "technology shits, such as increased deployment of digital rights management (DRM)" as one of the forces driving piracy down in many economies.
  • As we noted in our announcement, "Along with our growing customer adoption and deployments,
    the CODiE Award is additional validation that our products offer
    much more than
    traditional DRM approaches."

As this week's news has shown, software piracy is still a global problem and focusing on the distribution channels is a Sisyphean task. It's increasingly important for ISVs gain an understanding of their specific software piracy challenges. Only by identifying the actual infringers of your software (as well as the the volume of infringements) can you make data-driven decisions on how best to confront it.

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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.