It is in six U.S. states that nearly half of all cases of suspected corporate piracy originate, according to a new report out from the Business Software Alliance (BSA). Five of the six -- Florida, California, Illinois, New York and Texas -- are those you might expect because they're the most populous, but Michigan also snuck onto the list.
"On the one hand, it is not surprising that the six states where we are seeing the most corporate software piracy are all among the largest in the country," Jodie Kelley, BSA's vice president of anti-piracy and general counsel, told BetaNews. "But the trend underscores how prevalent these harmful copyright violations are throughout the U.S. economy."
And I ran the numbers. Five of the six states might be the most populous in the U.S., but they don't make up 49.3 percent of the country's total, which is the percentage of piracy reports that originated from those states in 2010. Far from it, actually.
So why these states? They're all large, but other than size, there aren't a lot of similarities between Texas and New York. The type of industries in each area are a strong indicator of piracy rate, according to the BSA, which collects piracy tips through its 1-888-NO-PIRACY hotline and an online reporting forum nopiracy.org. More so than, say, economic performance. "We've tended to see more piracy report in certain sectors (e.g. manufacturing) vs. other sectors," representatives from BSA told BetaNews. "Though we would have expected higher piracy rates in 'bad economic times,' that hasn't always been the case and it would thus be an overstatement to suggest that businesses are more or less likely to use pirated software during tough economic times at this point."
Evidence of this is Michigan's recent appearance on the list. (The other five states have all been on the list every year since 2007.) While the state is currently experiencing tough economic times, its earning a spot on a list of the top six states for corporate piracy means one had to be knocked off. Ohio, the state that we're used to seeing on the BSA's charts instead, has finally been pushed off, and we know things aren't exactly looking good there either.
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