Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 12:12 UK

UK software piracy rate declines

Hand holding CD, Eyewire
About a quarter of UK firms are using pirated software, said the BSA

For the first time in three years the amount of pirated business software on UK computers has fallen.

The Business Software Alliance's (BSA) annual survey shows a 1% drop in UK piracy rates to 26%.

The fall comes against a decline in software piracy in a majority of the 108 nations surveyed for the report.

The BSA says the fall in UK piracy is down to its increased educational efforts and programs that tackle local hotspots of pirate activity.

Fast growth

"It's encouraging that we're making progress in the battle against software piracy, however there's a huge amount yet to be done," said Julie Strawson, chairwoman of the BSA UK committee, in a statement.

"The fact remains that an unacceptable level of UK organisations still flout software licensing regulations," she said.

In 2007 the BSA said it had targeted Glasgow in a large-scale regional initiative because of its "specific piracy problems". Next on the list for special attention was Manchester, said the BSA.

Funded by software firms such as SAP, Microsoft, Symantec, Apple, IBM, Adobe and others the BSA works to remind companies about copyright laws and to enforce software licensing terms.

Despite the fall in UK piracy rates and 66 other nations studied in the report, the global rate of piracy grew during 2007.

The average global rate of piracy now stands at 38% - up three points on 2006. The BSA said this was because sales of PCs grew fastest in countries where piracy was rampant.

Armenia now tops the rankings of nations with most pirated software. The BSA estimates that 93% of software used in the country is pirated. The US has the lowest rate at 20%.

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