Good news for anybody in the software industry: piracy in one of the world’s leading illegal software markets has gone down this year. Traditionally, the piracy rate in China (measured by the number of illegal programs installed as a percentage of legal programs) is above 40%.

In 2011, that figure went down by 3 percentage points to 38%. While it’s easy to see this as an isolated development far away from the western world, the decline in software piracy will have ramifications on the rest of the world as well. A greater respect for the hard work of software engineers – even in far flung places like China – shows that some anti-piracy efforts are succeeding.

The piracy statistic was reported by China’s State Intellectual Property Office. They claim that China’s software piracy rate has been on a continuous slide for seven years now, and that the country is turning around its attitudes towards legitimate software programs.

The report also sectioned software piracy into several different categories. Computer security software, for example, experienced the biggest drop in piracy rates, falling from 45% to 39% over a one year period. Smaller drops occurred in office software programs and operating systems.

Unfortunately, seeing these drops over a period longer than 7 years may be problematic. The price of software in China continues to rise, and many programs are simply beyond the reach of an average consumer. Not to mention startup businesses that are trying to save money. Office 2010, for example, costs a massive 3,349 Yuan ($529), a significant increase over the 2007 version, which only cost around $349.

Ultimately, a 3 percentage point drop to 38% is a good start, but it’s nowhere near the piracy level that computer software developers want (which we assume would be 0%).  Since similar statistics are not collected in the United States, it’s difficult to say whether piracy is on the rise or dropping off.

If you want to download free software that will speed up your PC, then you don’t have to resort to piracy. That’s why we offer all users our free trial. By giving you access to our program’s most popular features, we make it easy for you to judge whether or not you want to buy the full trial version.

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