This BSA form claims that

1 in 5 pieces of software in the US are unlicensed.

How true is it?

  • 2
    Just to laugh some more, they also show this: globalstudy.bsa.org/2011 Talk about blatantly skewed-up statistics...
    – nico
    Feb 17 '14 at 7:32
  • 3
    it wouldn't surprise me, but a lot depends on your sample set. There's for example software that doesn't require a license, include that and your numbers go up. From my experience in the industry, the numbers differ greatly also between private and commercial use, with far more private users electing to use pirated software than do commercial entities. And in companies, it's far more likely that there's accidental use beyond licensed numbers than deliberate (company buys 100 licenses, poor bookkeeping causes them to not notice they have 120 installed copies).
    – jwenting
    Feb 17 '14 at 8:28
  • 1 in 5 sounds like a thumbsuck number, do they show how they got to that number? Feb 17 '14 at 11:36
  • Just off the top of my head, it seems this figure must either ignore or significantly underestimate the amount of free licensed software installed by everyone. Just as a ratio on a single computer (you absolutely can't take into account Android, IOs, etc., and be anywhere near that 1/5 figure,) there are drastically more licenced/free programs installed compared to the handful of possible unlicensed ones. Feb 21 '14 at 18:17
  • 1
    In summary, although the count of unlicensed pieces of software is hard, the count of licensed pieces is harder to define, let alone quantify.
    – Mark Hurd
    Feb 24 '14 at 2:20

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