Software piracy costs industry $50 bn, says study

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - Software piracy cost companies more than $50 billion last year, according to a study by the Business Software Alliance, an industry trade group.

The report released Tuesday said that worldwide losses totaled $53 billion, an 11-percent increase over the previous years.

The study estimated that pirated software accounted for 41 percent of all software installations globally, compared to 44 percent legitimate commercial software. The remaining 15 percent of software was free or open source.

The study said that the countries with the lowest piracy rates are the US, Japan, New Zealand and Luxembourg, all near 20 percent. The highest software piracy countries are Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia and Zimbabwe, all over 90 percent.

China’s piracy rate was 80 percent.

Central and Eastern Europe was the region with the highest rate of illegal software use, with pirated versions representing 66 percent of all installations, followed by Latin America at 65 percent, Asia-Pacific at 61 percent and the Middle East and Africa at 59 percent.

North America had the lowest piracy rate at 21 percent, followed by Western Europe with 33 percent.

While emerging economies account for 45 percent of all PC sales, they account for just 20 percent of the PC software market, said the report, noting that if the emerging economies’ PC software share were the same as it is for PC hardware, the software market would grow by $40 billion a year.

Filed under: Americas

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