A report out by market research company IDC has found that piracy rates of software in Australia has dropped 2 percent, from 28 percent last year.Now before we start patting ourselves on the back about how honest we’re becoming, I don’t know if it’s peoples’ conscience at play here, or maybe a more practical reason for the decline. I remember four years ago getting a letter from the anti-piracy folk who said we were running pirated management software on one of our computers. A disgruntled employee had told them this was the case, and to be honest, we had no idea. It took us a while to hunt down the item they were talking about, and as soon as we found it after an internal audit, we kicked it to touch. But here’s the thing. We knew we had to find some legitimate software, but realised it might cost the earth. However, after roaming the net we found some open source software that meet some of our needs. To fill in the gaps that the open source gear couldn’t accommodate, we spent about $2,000 on licenses. In the end, it turned out it was not a very expensive exercise. And, I think you will find this is one of the main reasons people have decided to go legit – it no longer as prohibitive on their bottom line as it once was. Of course, there is the “we’re getting more honest” argument to fall back on.