Software association paid $57K in 2010 to piracy whistleblowers

In 2010, SIIA’s Corporate Anti-Piracy program paid out 16 rewards totaling $57,500.


In 2010, the Software and Information Industry Association received 157 reports of alleged corporate end user software piracy.  Of the 157 reports, 42 (or 27%) were judged sufficiently reliable to pursue. Of these 16 qualified for rewards totaling $57,500.

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The profile of sources reporting software piracy indicates that most reports come from former IT staff – these are the people who typically witness the illegal use of software.  75% of all reports come from IT staff or managers, 11% from the company’s senior management and 4% from outside consultants.  More than 59% of those reporting are no longer employed by the target company.  In fact, many of SIIA's sources report that their primary reason for leaving the target company was the company’s lack of ethical behavior related to software compliance.

Nearly 94% of the reports were made online on SIIA's web reporting forms, and 4% were reported through SIIA’s Anti-Piracy hotline.  The remaining share came in through fax, e-mail and postal mail.

Cases are not concentrated by industry – while 12% involve "IT", 10% involve healthcare and education, no other category rises above 7%.  Most corporate cases pursued by SIIA represent relatively larger companies – the average number of employees is over 567 with average annual sales of nearly $441 million.  

The largest states, naturally, are home to the largest number of corporate piracy cases.  California and Florida lead with 15% each.  Utah and Illinois follow behind with 10% and 7% respectively.

The largest number of software titles pirated fall in the Productivity category.  This share is the percent of total titles audited in each category that were found to be unlicensed.  The share of pirated software varies by category, as illustrated in the table below.

Software typeShare of Pirated Titles














Document Mgmt.


Media Mgmt.






Operating Systems


36 companies settled software and content infringement cases with SIIA over the past year.  

In 2010, SIIA shut down over 41,000 online marketplace listings worldwide offering more than 4.5 million software products with a total value of more than US$90 million. The estimated value of listings enforced is calculated by the sum of the Buy It Now price multiplied the quantity for each listing per product.

SIIA settled its first cases involving graphics software (clip art) for over $200,000.

In all, SIIA filed 17 cases against online sellers in more than a dozen different states.

In 2010, SIIA sent approximately 1400 demand letters, collected close $40,000 in restitution. Source information from the sellers revealed that a majority of the software purchased by these sellers outside of the U.S. actually came from China through sites such as DHGate,, and Alibaba.  

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