Twenty-five percent of business software in use in the United States was pirated in 2001--up 1 percentage point from the previous year, according the alliance's research. The study also quantified the damage to the software industry and the national economy from continued software piracy, asserting that in 2001 it cost the United States $1.8 billion in retail sales of business software and more than 111,000 jobs.That piracy rates rose only 1% over a period of time when broadband became more widespread and the popularity of P2P file swapping networks increased is quite remarkable. Though piracy increased overall, several states actually saw a significant drop in software piracy, which is good news.
Increasing piracy is only going to encourage companies like Microsoft to pursue activation-based piracy prevention, which is claimed to be an effective measure against casual piracy. Short of dramatically lowering prices, or using activation schemes, how can software companies combat casual piracy?