Revulytics Blog

What's In It for ISVs? The BSA/IDC Global Software Piracy Study

May 12, 2009


The BSA released its Sixth Annual Global Piracy Study today and we issued our reaction to it.

There are some interesting macro level data points in the report:

  • The dollar cost of piracy is up: "The retail value of unlicensed software — representing revenue 'losses' to software companies — broke the $50 billion level for the first time in 2008. Worldwide losses grew by 11 percent to $53 billion."
  • Emerging markets continue to make an impact: "[T]he worldwide PC software piracy rate rose for the second year in a row, from 38 percent to 41 percent, largely because PC shipments grew fastest in high-piracy countries such as China and India."

While macro level statistics like these are arguably relevant, they don't necessarily help individual ISVs to understand the specific and direct impact of software piracy on their businesses. Nor do they help ISVs develop the most appropriate strategies for addressing their specific problems.

So what's in it for ISVs? A sense that piracy is a large, growing global problem. But this really isn't enough to motivate most vendors to be proactive and set up processes to recover revenue from the use of unlicensed software.

Piracy business intelligence is a valuable complement to the BSA report by providing the micro level data and insight that ISVs need to identify the most appropriate piracy strategies for their businesses. Whether it's the direct recovery of revenue from businesses using unlicensed software or developing channels in emerging markets, ISVs need to make data driven decisions based on their unique situations. While the BSA report is not designed to provide this level of data, it is surprisingly easy for ISVs to gather this data by implementing piracy business intelligence.

- Michael

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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.