Microsoft have today published a report on attitudes towards software piracy. Timed to coincide with the second reading of the Digital Economy Bill, the report reveals that piracy is rampant in both homes and workplaces across the UK.
The poll of 1,000 UK residents carried out by Loudhouse found that 1 in 3 Brits felt software piracy was “acceptable”, with 1 in 6 having admitted to using it.
This is despite only a third of those surveyed believing that they fully understood the risks involved with using illegally obtained software.
“People need to understand that there are inherent risks to their own security, including identity theft, from using pirated software products and that they can often be the victim of others’ criminal actions, such as an employer using pirated software in the workplace” said Susie Winter from the Alliance Against IP Theft.
While the use of pirated software at home may not come as much of a shock, the survey startlingly revealed that the use of illegal software is also rife in the workplace. 1 in 8 of the participants admitted to using pirate programs at work, with 57% stating that their boss wouldn’t find it a problem.
“Businesses have many excuses for not managing software effectively. Cost cutting, ignorance and changes in IT personnel are often cited during legal action,” said Julian Swan, director of compliance marketing at the Business Software Alliance. “But the cost of being found using unlicensed software far outweighs any perceived savings. Businesses expose themselves to the risks of fines, reputational damage and data loss if they allow software to be duplicated or downloaded from illegal web sites. It may seem like a cost saving but it’s a likely cause of major regret.”