Organization reports more than 350 software piracy cases in 2005

The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) has released its 2005 AntiPiracy year end report, which revealed the organization received 366 reports of piracy last year. Of these, 272 were judged sufficiently reliable to pursue.

Security and productivity software – including anti-virus, firewalls, word processing, office suites, etc. – were found to be the software most often pirated by businesses.

The largest states were found to be home to the largest number of piracy cases - California lead with 18 percent and Texas and New York followed with seven percent each. Five additional states represented half of reported cases: Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Illinois and Massachusetts each represented about five percent of the total cases.

The report found that cases are not concentrated by industry - while 15 percent involved manufacturing companies and 11 percent involved IT, no other category rose above ten percent. Most cases pursued by SIIA represent relatively larger companies - the average number of staff is 1,465 with average annual sales of $109 million.

According to the study, a profile of those reporting software piracy indicated that most reports came from former IT staff - these are the people who would be most aware of the illegal use of software. Some 60 percent of reports were found to come from IT staff or managers, while five percent came each from senior management, sales staff and consultants. More than three-quarters of those sending in reports are no longer employed by the target company.

SIIA's reward program - up to $200,000 for verifiable reports of corporate piracy - is available to those who report piracy to be proven and settled. In 2005, 13 rewards were given, at an average value of $2,270.

"More are in the pipeline for 2006," the organization stated.

2005 was a "very active year for SIIA" in internet anti-piracy enforcement, according to the report, with several major pirates being sentenced to record jail terms and fines.

Three major pirates also faced charges of criminal copyright infringement for their involvement in the manufacture and widespread distribution of pirated software and digital content. All three were initially investigated by SIIA and then referred to law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and U.S. Customs.

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