Software piracy costs record $63.4 billion in 2011: study

May 15, 2012
Pirated software is displayed at a shop in Jakarta in 2011. Software piracy cost the industry a record $63.4 billion globally in 2011 with emerging economies listed as the main culprits, an annual study said Tuesday.

Software piracy cost the industry a record $63.4 billion globally in 2011 with emerging economies listed as the main culprits, an annual study said Tuesday.

This was up nearly eight percent from the previous record of $58.8 billion in 2010, the (BSA) said in the study.

In the Asia Pacific, which comprises several emerging economies including China, bootleg software usage also cost the industry an all-time high of $21 billion last year, up 12 percent from 2010, BSA said.

Emerging markets had an average piracy rate of 68 percent, far exceeding the 42 percent global average and 24 percent in mature economies, according to the study which is based on a survey of about 15,000 in 33 markets.

These markets account for 82 percent of the global PC market.

"Emerging economies, which in recent years have been the driving force behind PC , are now decisively outpacing mature markets in their rate of growth," said the study carried out in January and February.

"They took in 56 percent of the world's new in 2011, and they now account for more than half of all PCs in use," it added.

File photo of Chinese customers in a shop selling various pirated products in Beijing. China was the worst in Asia when it comes to software piracy with almost $9.0 billion worth of computer programmes obtained illegally in 2011, compared to a legal software market of only $2.65 billion.

" thus continue to account for an overwhelming majority of the global increase in the commercial value of pirated software."

China was the worst in Asia when it comes to software piracy with almost $9.0 billion worth of computer programmes obtained illegally in 2011, compared to a legal of only $2.65 billion.

While the US has the largest pirated market estimated at $9.8 billion, it also has the world's largest legal valued at over $41 billion, BSA said.

"The thing about the (Asia Pacific) region is that PC growth is booming. PC growth in the region is growing at nine percent but piracy is coming down at one percent annually," said Roland Chan, BSA's senior director for regional marketing.

"So governments need to do more to bring down the rate at a faster rate to match the rapid PC growth," he told AFP.

Washington-based BSA is a non-profit trade body that works for copyright protection and counts among its members some of the world's biggest technology companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Symantec and Adobe.

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User comments : 9

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alfie_null
5 / 5 (6) May 15, 2012
No doubt the BSA assumes every one of those $63 billion worth of pirated apps would have been replaced by a legitimate purchase if only...

I agree it's a problem, but I'd appreciate getting a more realistic figure from a non-biased source.
Squirrel
not rated yet May 15, 2012
Complicating the picture is that pirating limits the uptake of the free and open source competition faced by the big software corporations.

A world where no copies of Windows 7, MS office or Photoshop were installed illegally, would be one where Unix, OpenOffice, and GIMP would be. That would result in them becoming much better supported and more mainstream--a situation that would threaten long term advantage of their commercial rivals and so their profitability.

Doc_aymz
5 / 5 (3) May 15, 2012
No doubt the BSA assumes every one of those $63 billion worth of pirated apps would have been replaced by a legitimate purchase if only...

I agree it's a problem, but I'd appreciate getting a more realistic figure from a non-biased source.


I agree, its always the same, I really don't know how figures like this go unchallenged continuously. A pirate copy is not the same as loosing a sale and you simply can't make that leap. People will pirate for the sake of it and those in the photo couldn't afford to buy the software anyway - so there is no potential lost sale.

This doesn't make it acceptable, but it annoys me that we come up with a big sounding figure for headlines that is meaningless.
Terriva
1 / 5 (1) May 15, 2012
Both revenue, both sales of multimedia industry rise steadily - so I doubt, there is a testable evidence of the global negative impact of the piracy to the global market. The viral ads work at the very similar principles.
http://www.guardi...ry-facts

http://static.gui...dvds.png
henry_rivera
5 / 5 (3) May 15, 2012
What BS!! Now I get why the org making up these figures is called the BSA.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) May 15, 2012
BSA Propaganda.

Ignore the corporate liars.

MandoZink
not rated yet May 16, 2012
They sure spew a lot of bullshit. I have software I would never have bought, but only have because it was "free". A lot of software is crap that you may only use a few times - not worth the price.

One fact often ignored: In my position at work I got to recommend software that might be useful to our department. In every case I tried out lots of "borrowed" software which I used at home. That resulted in our department spending large amounts of money on some major software packages that DID perform as we needed. I would never have recommended the software if I didn't get to spend time playing with it first. The pirated software was KEY to more legitimate purchases and profits for them.
Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (1) May 16, 2012
The BSA -IS- the number one most corrupt company I have ever had personal dealings with.
Sepp
1 / 5 (1) May 21, 2012
... and who says software should cost billions upon billions of dollars in the first place?