Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Global software piracy

Crime facts info no. 123

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, May 2006

According to a Business Software Alliance study of global trends in software piracy, in 2005 the worldwide rate of personal computer software piracy stood at 35 percent, a one percentage point decrease on the 2003 global rate. The rate of software piracy in each country was calculated by subtracting the units of legitimate packaged software paid for during the year from total units of packaged software put to use during that year. The resulting number was the divided by total units of packaged software to produce a percentage rate. In 2003, 2004 and 2005 the highest rates of software piracy were recorded in Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Ukraine and China. In these countries between 85 and 93 percent of the software put to use each year was thought to be pirated. Other countries with high rates of software piracy in 2005 included Pakistan (86%), Kazakhstan (85%), Russia (83%), and Venezuela (82%). Countries with low piracy rates in 2005 included the United States (21%), New Zealand (23%), the UK (27%), Japan (28%), Australia (31%) and Canada (33%). The highest estimated monetary losses (in $US) due to software piracy in 2005 were experienced by the United States ($6,895 million), China ($3,884 million) and France ($3,191 million). Globally, it is estimated that $34,297 million was lost due to software piracy in 2005, up from $32,711 million in 2004 and $28,794 million in 2003.

Rates of software piracy in selected countries, 2003 to 2005, percentage

Source: Business Software Alliance & International Data Corporation 2006. Third annual BSA and IDC global software piracy study. Washington, DC: Business Software Alliance.