Study finds global piracy rates hold fast at 35%, Russian and Chinese scallawags belay a bit
The fourth annual Global Piracy Study, conducted by tech market research company IDC on behalf of the Business Software Alliance, was released this morning. The researchers estimate that again this year, 35% of all software on PCs worldwide is pirated. This is despite claimed advances in legitimate sales in traditional problem areas like China, where the government's decision to license operating systems and other software is uses on state-owned PCs has resulted in a 10% drop in three years (a drop from 92% to 82%, but still). Other developing markets, though, seem to be taking up the slack. Nearly one third of countries surveyed has piracy rates topping 75%, and while developing markets account for fully 30% of global PC sales, they only account for 10% of software revenue.
Perhaps the most surprising finding was that, despite the world's lowest piracy rate--21%--the estimated value of pirated software in the US is the highest on the list. IDC estimates that the US accounts for US$7.3bn in piracy losses. That raises a red flag in my mind: are we really buying (or not) that much more software than other countries, or are we getting ripped off paying for software that sells for less elsewhere?
Even taken with the XXL grain of salt BSA funding requires, these are big numbers.