Value of pirated software nearly $59 billion: study

May 12, 2011 by Chris Lefkow
A Bangladeshi browses pirated software in a shopping centre in Dhaka. Businesses and consumers around the world bought $95 billion worth of legal personal computer (PC) software in 2010, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), but they installed another $58.8 billion in pirated software.

The commercial value of pirated software increased 14 percent last year to nearly $59 billion, with emerging economies accounting for over half the total, according to a study published Thursday.

Businesses and consumers around the world bought $95 billion worth of legal personal computer (PC) in 2010, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), but they installed another $58.8 billion in pirated software.

"This means that for every dollar spent on legitimate software in 2010, an additional 63 cents worth of unlicensed software also made its way into the market," the BSA said.

At $31.9 billion, emerging economies accounted for over half the commercial value of pirated software last year, the BSA said in its eighth Global Software Piracy Study.

While to accounted for half the world's total last year, the value of paid in those economies accounted for less than 20 percent of the world total, the study said.

While the value of pirated software rose, the global piracy rate for PC software dropped by a single percentage point in 2010 to 42 percent, the study found.

File photo of a pirated copy of Microsoft Windows Vista in Hong Kong. The commercial value of pirated software increased 14 percent last year to nearly $59 billion, with emerging economies accounting for over half the total, according to a study published Thursday.

Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America had the world's highest piracy rate, with 64 percent of PC software pirated, while North America had the lowest, with 21 percent, the study found.

Software piracy was also found to be rampant in the , with a piracy rate of 60 percent, followed by The Middle East with 58 percent and Western Europe with 33 percent.

And while the United States was tied with Japan for the lowest piracy rate, at 20 percent, it ranked at the top in terms of the commercial value of pirated PC software, estimated at $9.5 billion dollars.

It was followed by China, with $7.8 billion, and Russia, with $2.8 billion.

The study was carried out with technology research firm IDC and covered 116 countries and regions. The piracy rate dropped last year in 51 of the 116 areas studied and went up in 15, the BSA said.

File photo shows Beijing security personnel destroying counterfeit CD's and DVD's. Software piracy was found to be rampant in the Asia-Pacific region, with a piracy rate of 60 percent, followed by The Middle East with 58 percent and Western Europe with 33 percent.

It said the most common form of software piracy was to buy a single copy of software and install it on multiple computers, a practice which 51 percent of PC users surveyed in emerging markets mistakenly believe is legal.

"There's an awareness gap where many people don't even understand that they're stealing software," BSA president Matt Reid said.

"Governments need to be investing in educating the public about the value of intellectual property. They also need to make sure that the right laws are in place, and then they need to get out and enforce those laws."

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TheSpiceIsLife
5 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
"Value of pirated software nearly $59 billion"

No, the value of pirated software is zero.
Vendicar_Decarian
2.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
If software producers can't figure out how to prevent their work from being duplicated, then they don't have a product that has any substantial marketability.

I grant everyone a permanent and irrevocable right to duplicate any information they find in any manner they see fit and for any non-commercial use.

Information wants to be free.
gopher65
5 / 5 (1) May 12, 2011
I wonder how much of this "pirated" software is multi-thousand dollar a DVD stuff like Maya (3D modelling software). I used quotes around pirated because software (or music, or video) can only be *really* said to have been pirated if those who took it have any chance of actually purchasing the software legitimately.

Think about it: is someone who makes 700 dollars a year going to spend 750 dollars on ST:V the complete series (which is what it cost until recently. Now it's 180-250). Are they going to spend 3000 dollars on 3D modelling software? No. No one is going to spend an entire years wages on software.

That's an inherently ridiculous position to take, yet it is the position that this survey and others like it take. I'm far more interested in piracy levels by people who *can* afford to buy software (music, videos), but choose to pirate instead. That's a far more meaningful number.
epsi00
not rated yet May 12, 2011
Think of microsoft selling you "debugged" versions of its software at higher and higher prices ( you can buy a pc for $200 and buy a copy of windows7 for 200, it does not make any sense). Imagine buying a car ( the hardware ) and buying gas ( the software ) at the same price, ridiculous ( I know, you only buy the software once...). Some people prefer to pay a price close to the real value of the software.
vdoomer
not rated yet May 12, 2011
Who pays to pirate?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 15, 2011
If software producers can't figure out how to prevent their work from being duplicated, then they don't have a product that has any substantial marketability.

I grant everyone a permanent and irrevocable right to duplicate any information they find in any manner they see fit and for any non-commercial use.

Information wants to be free.
VD_Tard obviously doesn't produce anything of intellectual value.

I remember when AutoCAD was the only CADD program you could load without needing the hardware key. It won out over other CADD programs in part because so many people were using it illegally and learning it.

I suppose software companies do profit from piracy in that foreign markets are flooded with their stuff, eroding the potential for foreign companies to write and sell in those areas. Kind of equates to jap auto companies dumping cars in the US at a loss to grab market share away from domestic mfrs.

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