33% of South Africans use unlicensed software
At least 33% of software installed on South African computers is not properly licensed, according to the BSA | The Software Alliance.
A global software survey, titled "Seizing Opportunity Through Licence Compliance", found that despite the link between unlicensed software and cyber attacks, individuals and companies continue to use unlicensed software.
However, SA's 33% figure still means the country is performing well compared to the rest of the Middle East and Africa region. The rate of unlicensed software use in the region is 57%, the survey reveals.
The rate of access has been influenced in part by important trends across the continent. The driving force for the drop in the rate was the decrease of the consumer share of PC shipments, enterprise-oriented intellectual property protection efforts, and a migration to subscription-based software.
"We are happy to see the rate of unlicensed software use has dropped again," says Billa Coetsee, chairman of the BSA's South African committee.
"We believe this progress is in part a result of the successful cooperation between the South African government and the software industry, including the recent joint initiative between BSA, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and DALRO on raising awareness among South African companies on intellectual property and driving software licence compliance.
"However, as the report highlights, the value of unlicensed software in use in SA is $274 million, which is very high. We will have to continue building the success of our recent initiatives with government, other stakeholders and the business community."
"Seizing Opportunity Through Licence Compliance" is the BSA's global software survey which includes a breakdown of country-specific data. The report surveyed consumers, IT managers and enterprise PC users.
Where unlicensed software is in use, the likelihood of encountering malware dramatically goes up and the cost of dealing with malware incidents can be staggering, according to the research.
"As the report underscores, it is critically important for a company to be aware of what software is on the company network," says BSA's president and CEO Victoria Espinel. "Many CIOs don't know the full extent of software deployed on their systems, or if that software is legitimate."