A study by the Business Software Alliance is estimating global software piracy at 35% of all software installed last year, coming out to $40 billion in lost revenue for software makers, with 15% more losses since 2005, $5 billion not going to the people who created the software. The report also said that piracy in China dropped 10% over the last three years, saving $864 million in losses, while legit sales in China grew 88% since 2005 to $1.2 billion. Russian piracy dropped 7% over the last three years.
Techdirt says the BSA releases bogus stats every year, and are often debunked. I’m sure there are people who benefit from reports like this (companies like Microsoft, obviously), but there’s no doubt that piracy is real and very expensive for the world software industry. Maybe these stats aren’t perfect, but we know piracy is rampant and a serious issue, and can’t pretend it doesn’t exist or need to be addresses. I’m the first to say that some piracy is often times a necessary evil, but ignoring it helps no one.