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The software piracy rate inched up globally last year, costing the IT industry billions of dollars, according to the seventh annual Business Software Alliance/IDC Global Software Piracy Study.

The piracy rate is the percentage of software installed on PCs in a given year that is unlicensed. In 2009, that rate increased two percentage points to 43 percent. That means for every $100 worth of legitimate software sold in 2009, an additional $75 worth of unlicensed software was also sold.

All totaled software theft cost the industry more than $51 billion, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA).