Monday, May 17, 2010

Would You Tell A Stranger On The Phone Whether You Have Pirated Software?

China Daily has an optimistic article about the declining software piracy rates in China. At least according to a survey by commissioned by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce. The surveys were done by phone and one can question the reliability of the answers. Even though the anonymity of the respondents might be guaranteed (Was this the case?), many people give social acceptable answers, especially in China where the government keeps tight control over all things related to the internet, computers and copyright. So this could mean that at least the respondents are aware that pirated software is illegal. Or, best case scenario, they speak the truth.

Business Software Alliance (BSA) has commissioned IDC to do an annual survey about software piracy in China as well. The difference between the BSA/IDC and SAIC/ results is significance. In 2005 there has been a controversy about BSA's statistics (see the Economist article, “BSA or just BS”, about dodgy piracy data, so this year a video of John Gantz, Chief Research Officer of IDC is posted where he explains the methodology for the BSA/IDC Global Software Piracy Study.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics" (19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli)
  • 2005 66 percent (SAIC/; 86 percent (BSA/IDC);
  • 2006 63 percent (SAIC/; 82 percent (BSA/IDC);
  • 2007 56 percent (SAIC/; 82 percent (BSA/IDC);
  • 2008 47 percent (SAIC/; 80 percent (BSA/IDC);
  • 2009 45 percent (SAIC/; 79 percent (BSA/IDC).

Unsurprisingly questions BSA's methods. And IP Dragon questions's methods. So if you question my methods, please send your comment below.

See the China Daily article here.

1 comment:

Patently Yours said...

Surprised that 45% actually agreed to having pirated software on phone.

Did 'Computer assisted' telephone interviews have anything to do with installing confidence in them?