October 4, 2012 / IST / Science & Technology.

This year’s BSA Global Software Piracy Study marks the first time a large sample of computer users around the world have been asked directly, “How often do you acquire pirated software or software that is not fully licensed?” The answers people have given to that and other questions reveal sharp divides between the habits and outlooks of computer users in emerging and developed markets. Those differences help explain why the global piracy rate hovered at 42 percent in 2011 while a steadily expanding marketplace in the developing world drove the commercial value of software theft to $63.4 billion.

Well over half of the world’s personal computer users — 57 percent — admit they pirate software. That includes 31 percent who say they do it “all of the time,” “most of the time,” or “occasionally,” plus another 26 percent who admit they pirate, but only “rarely.” Fewer than four users in 10 (38 percent) say they “never” acquire software that is not fully licensed.

These startling findings come from a survey of approximately 15,000 computer users in 33 countries that together make up 82 percent of the global PC market. Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the nterviews in January and February of 2012 as part of the ninth annual BSA Global Software Piracy Study.

Among the other key findings in this year’s report:

  1. The global piracy rate for PC software hovers at 42 percent.
  2. The commercial value of this shadow market of pirated software climbed from $58.8 billion in 2010 to $63.4 billion in 2011, a new record, propelled by PC shipments to emerging economies where piracy rates are highest.
  3. Country by country, the frequency with which people report acquiring unlicensed software closely aligns with the actual rates of piracy that IDC calculates annually for this report using hard market data.
  4. The users who say they pirate software most frequently are disproportionately young and male — and they install more software of all types on their computers than do infrequent pirates or non-pirates.
  5. Emerging economies, which in recent years have been the driving force behind PC software piracy, are now decisively outpacing mature markets in their rate of growth. They took in 56 percent of the
  6. world’s new PC shipments in 2011, and they now account for more than half of all PCs in use.
Shadow Market of Pirated Software Grows to $63 Billion

Shadow Market of Pirated Software Grows to $63 Billion

Total worldwide software piracy is 42%

SLCountryPiracy RateCommercial Value ($M)Globally admit to pirating software
1United State19%$9,77331%
4United Kingdom26%$1,94327%

All Data is taken from BSA