In many Asian countries, the term "intellectual property rights" is virtually unknown, while the definition of copyright becomes, somewhat literally, the "right to copy."
A study shows piracy cost the software industry a record US$63.4 billion (HK$494.5 billion) globally in 2011 - with emerging economies being the main culprits.
The figure for the region was an all- time high of US$21 billion, according to the Business Software Alliance.
China was clearly the worst offender, with the situation obviously beyond the pale as pirates creamed US$9 billion while bona fide sellers got only US$2.65 billion.
"Emerging economies thus continue to account for an overwhelming majority of the global increase in the commercial value of pirated software," said the alliance, a Washington-based non-profit trade body that acts for members that include Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec.
"So governments need to do more to bring down the rate," said alliance senior director Roland Chan.
But to vendors in places like Mong Kok and Shenzhen, Chan may as well be whistling in the wind.