Does pirating software help fight poverty?

Piracy has a very bad press, and for good reason, it generates a shortfall among rights holders who can sometimes leave feathers there, or even end up going out of business. However, there may be certain positive effects of illegal downloading, and this is suggested by a recent study published in the Balkan Journal of Social Sciences.

When Hacking Creates Wealth

The researchers looked at the impact of piracy on the level of poverty in Latin American countries between 2003 and 2017. They compared the rate of piracy, i.e. the use of pirated software per inhabitant, and poverty which was here measured by six indicators.

The conclusion seems quite clear and it follows that higher levels of illegal downloading correspond to a decrease in poverty. The authors state: There is a statistically significant inverse relationship between the use of pirated software and poverty in the six poverty models for samples from developing countries and Latin America ยป.

This trend remains the same when we add other variables such as health expenditure or unemployment, therefore the initial hypothesis seems to be verified. While you always have to be careful with a study, its conclusions here seem quite reliable, although they can always be refuted by other research.

It also seems interesting to try to explain the reasons for such a phenomenon. Our colleagues from torrentfreak make an interesting hypothesis. They point out that in some cases illegal downloading occurs because Internet users are unable to pay.

Therefore, access to this software, which can sometimes be quite expensive, like Photoshop, can allow them to create a business, and thus to enter the workforce and begin to create wealth.


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