Cleveland A Hot Spot (Seriously)

According to the Business Software Alliance, the state of Ohio (and the city of Cleveland specifically) ranks in the top five of national hotspots for instances of illegal software use. If you are not familiar with the BSA, consider yourself lucky. The BSA is a trade group that aggressively roots out and prosecutes illegal software use. According to its Web site, “[e]ach year, BSA receives more than 2,500 reports of software piracy from across the country. The majority of the reports come from current or former employees who had information related to the unlicensed software activity.” The Web site goes on to report that “[t]he national average software piracy rate in 2008 was 20%, meaning that one in five pieces of PC software installed in the United States was unlicensed. Ohio’s rate however is a staggering 27% according to the 2007 State Piracy Report released last year and also conducted by IDC. This is over one-third higher than the national average and the highest rate of the eight states included in that study.” But of course, unless you’re Jack Saprrow, piracy doesn’t pay. A company found using unlicensed software and violating copyright laws could pay damages of up to $150,000 for each software title copied. If convicted, violators can be fined up to $250,000 per title or given a jail term of up to five years, or both.

It’s not entirely clear why the incidence is so high in Cleveland. But I suspect that even being known as a “software piracy hot spot” is better than “the mistake on the lake.”