BRICs lead the world in software piracy

The industry group Business Software Alliance is out with its annual report on global software piracy and it appears that the BRIC countries are still pretty dominant. Yes, Zimbabwe has the world’s highest rate of software piracy at 92 percent, overtaking Georgia for the top spot this year. And the United States has the largest ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
628083_120516_software.jpg
628083_120516_software.jpg

The industry group Business Software Alliance is out with its annual report on global software piracy and it appears that the BRIC countries are still pretty dominant. Yes, Zimbabwe has the world's highest rate of software piracy at 92 percent, overtaking Georgia for the top spot this year. And the United States has the largest illegal software sector in terms of dollar value. But as the chart on the right shows, China, Russia, India, and Brazil combined for more than $17.9 billion worth of pirated software in 2011 -- 28 percent of the global total -- at an average piracy rate of 64 percent. On the other hand, rates are down this year in all four countries according to BSA's numbers. 

Overall, BSA says the global rate of software piracy remained steady at 42 percent, though the value of the shadow market in pirated software increased from $58.8 billion to $63.4 billion. 

The world's most honest software users? Americans! While the value of its shadow software industry may be the highest, BSA puts the U.S. piracy rate at only 19 percent, the lowest in the world. 

The industry group Business Software Alliance is out with its annual report on global software piracy and it appears that the BRIC countries are still pretty dominant. Yes, Zimbabwe has the world’s highest rate of software piracy at 92 percent, overtaking Georgia for the top spot this year. And the United States has the largest illegal software sector in terms of dollar value. But as the chart on the right shows, China, Russia, India, and Brazil combined for more than $17.9 billion worth of pirated software in 2011 — 28 percent of the global total — at an average piracy rate of 64 percent. On the other hand, rates are down this year in all four countries according to BSA’s numbers. 

Overall, BSA says the global rate of software piracy remained steady at 42 percent, though the value of the shadow market in pirated software increased from $58.8 billion to $63.4 billion. 

The world’s most honest software users? Americans! While the value of its shadow software industry may be the highest, BSA puts the U.S. piracy rate at only 19 percent, the lowest in the world. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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