In the software industry, piracy results in the loss of billions of dollars every year. It is estimated that over 35% of all software installations worldwide are pirated (22% in North America). That number is even higher in China and Vietnam where software piracy is estimated at 90% and 92% respectively.
In 2005, piracy cost the software industry $35 billion USD in lost revenue. Microsoft, which bets heavily on its Windows and Office software, is most often the target of pirates. Microsoft senior attorney Bonnie MacNaughton estimates that more than 33% of all Microsoft software is pirated.
This comes as no surprise to Romanian President Traian Basescu. It is estimated that 70% of the software used in Romania is pirated -- and President Basescu is proud of it.
In a recent joint news conference with Microsoft chairman and founder Bill Gates, Basescu had this to say about piracy; "Piracy helped the young generation discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania."
He continued, "It helped Romanians improve their creative capacity in the IT industry, which has become famous around the world ... Ten years ago, it was an investment in Romania's friendship with Microsoft and with Bill Gates."
Not surprisingly, Bill Gates had no comment for Basescu's remarks.
Microsoft has taken many steps to protect Windows Vista from pirates. The company has implemented its so-called Software Protection Program and Windows Volume Activation 2.0 to prevent volume license keys from making their way out into the open.
However, it wasn't long after the announcement of Volume Activation 2.0 that pirates found a way to circumvent it. And just days before the worldwide consumer launch of Windows Vista and Office 2007, pirated copies were sitting on store shelves in China for a few bucks a piece.
I thought this was funny... Also, in the last paragraph about China you can find more about that at Neowin: Pirates quick to offer Vista.