Software Piracy Related To Intelligence, Say Researchers

Software piracy is a major issue across the world, costing businesses a big deal of money. A new study on software piracy reveals that countries with high cognitive intelligence face lesser issues of software piracy.

The recent paper titled ‘Intelligence and Crime: A novel evidence for software piracy’ by three researchers from Germany’s MPRA correlates national intelligence, expressed in average national IQ points, with software piracy. The researchers have obtained data from 102 countries in 2011. They inferred that countries with ‘higher intelligence’ show lower levels of software piracy as compared to those with ‘lower intelligence’.

Read more: Software Piracy Will Have Negative Impact On India’s Exporters: IDC

According to the researchers, “Our findings offer strong support for the assertion that intelligence is inversely related to the software piracy rates. After controlling for the potential effect of outlier nations in the sample, software piracy rate declines by about 5.3 percentage points if national IQ increases by 10 points.”

Researchers Odilova, Andrés, and Salahodjaev stated, “It is crucial to highlight that albeit our findings suggest that more intelligent societies are inversely associated with the software piracy rates, this should not be taken as universal evidence that society with higher intelligent quotient is a requirement to alleviate software piracy.”

There are some exceptions to theis rule as well. For example, in China, piracy rates and IQ are both relatively high. On the other hand, South Africa has a low national IQ as well as low piracy rates. The general trend, however, shows a direct relation between a country’s average IQ and the local software piracy rates.

Again, for copyright holders, ‘dumb’ countries are not ‘doomed’ by definition. If the ruling elite is smart enough, they can still lower piracy rates.

With the objective to alleviate software piracy’; the researchers suggested that if ruling elite enforces policies to decrease software piracy, intelligence provides a credible proxy of the degree of consent of such policies.

In other words, a more intelligent society- one where members have better cognitive ability- would accept and positively respond to laws to decrease ‘softlifting’, as compared to a less intelligent one, the study said.

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