The percentage of pirated software installed on Hong Kong PCs during 2010 fell to its lowest at 45 per cent, said Business Software Alliance (BSA) recently.

The number also indicates a fall of eight percentage points since 2006--the biggest in Asia Pacific in the same period, said BSA that release results of its 2010 Global Software Piracy Study.

However, the commercial value of unlicensed software deployed on personal computers in Hong Kong reached US$227 million in 2010, according to the study. "This demonstrates that software piracy remains a critical issue and there is still much work still to be done. said Winnie Yeung, chairperson of the BSA's Hong Kong and Macau Committee.

"In the current economic climate, promoting IPR protection has become an even more important issue as it allows businesses to compete fairly and incentivizes the local software industry to continue to innovate and succeed," said Tarun Sawney, senior director of BSA Asia Pacific.

In the entire Asia Pacific region, the commercial value of stolen software in the totaled US$18.7 billion, said BSA. Globally, the value of software theft grew to a record US$59 billion -- nearly double the figure revealed by the study when it began in 2003, BSA added.

Half of the 116 geographies studied in 2010 had piracy rates of 62 per cent or higher, with the global average piracy rate at 42 per cent, according to the study.