The illegal procurement of software, and all processes involved. Software piracy is everywhere. It is also cheap and fun. From the college student with a fast ethernet connection to the buck-a-CD stores selling illegal software, piracy gives people software that would be otherwise too expensive for them to purchase.

Here are some stats on software piracy.

  • USA - 28% of all software used is pirated
  • China - 96%
  • Vietnam - 99%
  • Software piracy used to be very easy, when there were no CD's around. Floppies are easily duplicated. Firms came up with ridiculous protection schemes, such as codewheels, quoting a word out of the manual, and other easily broken methods. As far as I know, piracy dropped significantly when CD software started coming out, because no one had the expensive burners. Pretty soon though, they became affordable, and everyone was pirating again. So they came up with more schemes to protect their software, but those are pretty easily avoided as well.

    Asia and the Middle East are currently hotbeds for software piracy, because it is all but condoned by the local authorities. Wonderful, isn't it? Hong Kong was, before 1997, the undisputed international haven for software piracy, but China, attempting to please the West by setting a "good example", shut most of it down. Not that it matters, because there are plenty of piraters in China itself. Yesterday, I bought a copy of Microsoft Office 2000 Premium for US$2. I also bought a DVD copy of the movie Dogma for the same price. But that's China, where there is practically no law against piracy.

    Despite the fact that it is illegal, software piracy is still very prevalent in America. Oh well. I'm indifferent.