The Business Software Alliance has issued its annual Global Software Piracy report with some positive words for Canada. Consistent with my column this week on how claims that Canada is a piracy haven is rhetoric over reality, the BSA study notes that Canada had one of the sharpest declines in the world last year and is now firmly in the group of countries with the lowest piracy rates anywhere. The BSA finds Canada dropped by 3 percent last year, tied with India and Chile for the sharpest declines, but coming from a much lower rate. Canada is now listed at 29 percent, far lower than countries like France (40%), Italy (49%), or Spain (42%). Michael Murphy, chair of the BSA Canada Committee is quoted as saying:
“At 29 per cent, Canada’s software piracy rate is at an all- time low, which demonstrates the progress that can be made through greater consumer education, legalization programs by software companies and better enforcement of licensing rules."
Note that there is no reference to copyright reform as a key factor in reducing infringement. While I have raised concerns with the BSA methodology in the past, there is no disputing that the industry's own numbers suggest Canada has continually declined for software infringement for the past three years and, contrary to the rhetoric about Canada, is at an all-time low.