Article | November 28, 2018

Turning Piracy Positive: Benefits To Channel Partners From Pursuing License Compliance Opportunities

By Victor DeMarines, VP, Product and Strategy, Revulytics


The commercial value of unlicensed software globally is $46.3 billion, and 37% of software installed on personal computers is unlicensed according to BSA | The Software Alliance’s 2018 Global Software Survey. The commercial value of unlicensed software in North America and Western Europe alone is $19 billion – that’s 41% of the global number despite these regions having lower than average piracy rates (16% and 26% respectively). On its face this might seem troubling, but it is doesn’t need to be: vendors with software usage analytics capabilities are identifying organizations using unlicensed software and generating significant revenue.

So what does this mean for resellers and channel partners whose fortunes are tied to the health and success of software vendors? It’s time to start thinking differently about software piracy and unlicensed use. Partners are the face of the vendor and often the only feet on the ground in a particular region responsible for selling, training, customer support and more – instead of fearing piracy, they can embrace it and do something about it. Thinking like the software vendor to protect intellectual property, revenue, and the brand will yield better relationships both with customers and the vendor itself.

You cannot compete with free. More than half of the infringement data we see comes from a vendor’s current customers. These are customers that may have bought 3 basic licenses, but are pirating 10 advanced licenses with all the features and functionality enabled. They ask partners to send their pre-sales tech resources to educate them on how to use these advanced features, with no intention of ever buying those licenses – or more importantly, any of the training or consulting services that normally follow.