Pirated Software and Economics

CADInsider has a very interesting analysis of why software is pirated. A lot of it has to do with it being super-expensive.

…In a study done of several countries*, the relative cost of software is compared to the piracy rate in that country. Relative cost is defined as the cost relative to monthly earnings (gross domestic product per capita, to be more exact). In Vietnam (which has the highest piracy rate of any country at 94%), that’s the same as spending 16 months of gross domestic product/capita — in other words, it would be like an American spending over $48,000 for Office and Windows XP!…

…While in general the lower the relative cost, the less the incidence of piracy, this is not always the case. It’s true that in the well-off US, where software costs little compared to what people earn, piracy rates stand low at 25%. In poor Nigeria, the same software purchase feels like over $60,000 and the piracy rate shoots up to 71%…..

Read the entire article, it makes compelling reading.