Software Piracy Statistics

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  1. Pirated Software Impact to Businesses:$63 Billion

Software Piracy

Information and statistics about software piracy and sales or downloads of pirated software. Data about the piracy is collected from software companies, industry representatives and other public information sources.

According to the Business Software Association, 16 cases of businesses using pirated software were settled in Australia in 2013. The fines and settlements paid out by the businesses totaled $483,785 (536,050 Australian). The settlements paid out for pirated software was 20 percent higher than the amount paid out in 2012.

The BSA reported that almost a third of the business that were caught using pirated software were architectural firms and companies in the design industry.

Back in 2012, engineering firms accounted for nearly half of all companies caught using pirated software in Australia.

Source:  Hannah Francis, “Business software piracy hits record,” Business Spectator, February 18, 2014.

According to a study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), 74 percent of consumers surveyed in a study stated that they first found a website offering pirated materials through a search engine.

58 percent of searches with keywords such as the movie’s title or names of television shows had links to online piracy sites, according to the report.

82 percent of search queries that brought a user to a website offering pirated materials was through Google search. This number is in direct contrast with a report released by Google last week. Google claims that just 16 percent of internet users find online piracy sites through a search engine.

Source:  Eriq Gardner, “Why Hollywood Is Suddenly Marveling Over Piracy Studies,” Hollywood Reporter, September 18, 2013.

327 million people around the world was searching for pirated content online, according to a study commissioned by NBCUniversial. The people accessing pirated content accounted for 14 billion page views on websites that were proving content without a licenses. The number of page views was 10 percent higher than the amount recorded in November 2011.

149 million users visited cyberlockers in January 2013, a decrease of 8 percent from November 2011.

Online piracy accounted for 24 percent of total Internet bandwidth in 2012, a 160 percent increase from 2010.

Source:  Richard Verrier, “Online piracy of entertainment content keeps soaring,” Los Angeles Times, Company Town, September 17, 2013.


In 2012, Google disabled the AdSense accounts and prevented ads from being displayed on 46,000 websites that was providing pirated content.

However, Google also stated in the report “How Google Fights Piracy” that all major search engines such as Yahoo, Bing and Google only provides 16 percent of the traffic to bit-torrent and piracy sites like The Pirate Bay. Most of the websites that provides torrents, downloads and pirated materials receive their traffic through social media, word of mouth and other marketing methods.

Source:  “How Google Fights Piracy,” September 2013.

Over 96 percent of retail stores surveyed in Cambodia were selling pirated software with the sale of personal computers, according to research conducted by Microsoft.

Out of 54 computer stores, the company found only 2 stores that were offering legitimate copies of Windows with newly purchased computers.

The high rate of software piracy is attributed to the cost of software. According to media reports, some software packages can cost up to $700 in Cambodia.

Source:  Simon Lewis and Hul Reaksmey, “Survey Finds PC Shops Sell Unlicensed Software,” Cambodia Daily, August 19, 2013.

Over a three month period that ended in January 2013, almost 400 million digital files were pirated by Internet users in the United Kingdom.

According to a study by Ofcom, 18 percent of Internet users in the UK over the age of 12 accessed a pirated copy of an entertainment service. These files included movies, music, television shows, books, software and video games.

In the previous three month period, the number of Internet users who accessed pirated files was 16 percent.

Out of the 18 percent who accessed a pirated file, the study states that 5 percent of that figure only use illegal services.

59 percent of the digital piracy users in the United Kingdom are male, and 68 percent are under the age of 34.

Source:  Mark Sweney, “Music, TV and film piracy rises among UK internet users,” Guardian, May 28, 2013.

According to a white paper by IDC and commissioned by Microsoft, businesses will spend $114 Billion in 2013 to deal with malware that was installed through the use of pirated software. Consumers will have to spend 1.5 billion hours in total to deal with malware from pirated software.

The paper, “The Dangerous World of Counterfeit and Pirated Software: How Pirated Software Can Compromise the Cybersecurity of Consumers, Enterprises, and Nations … and the Resultant Costs in Time and Money,” also reported that 78 percent of pirated software is attached with spyware. And out of all installed software that was pirated, 45  percent of users stated that due to major problems the software was eventually uninstalled.

Source:  Peter Butler, “New Microsoft study says your software is counterfeit,” CNet, March 25, 2013.

Read the white paper at Microsoft’s website here (PDF).

The Country Manager for Microsoft Nigeria stated to the media that companies were losing up to 80 percent of their profits due to software piracy in the country. In addition to the lost profit, companies and consumers were force to spend additional time and money in addressing the security problems raised from pirated, unlicensed software.

Officials from Microsoft calculate that consumers in Nigeria would spend 1.5 billion hours dealing with pirated software in 2013. They will also spend up to $22 Billion repairing issues arising from malware that is able to infect computers from unlicensed software.

Source:  Adeyemi Adepetun and Gbenga Salau, “‘Firms lose 80 per cent of profits to piracy, others’,” Guardian (Nigeria), March 10, 2013.

Nehru Place, a large commercial and business center in Delhi, India, is responsible for generating almost half of all legitimate software sales in the country.

Young children between the ages of 13 to 18 sell pirated copies of the software in front of the legitimate stores for prices a little as $2 (100 Indian Rupees).  The area is thus responsible for up to 60 percent of the pirated software market.

Authentic, licensed software sold in India can cost up to 30 times more than the pirated version sold in the streets.

Source:  Jason Overdorf, “India: Pirates! Caught on tape!,” GlobalPost, March 3, 2013.

The National Library Department reported that up to 25 percent of software used in computer labs at small to medium sized private schools in Jordan are pirated copies.

Across the entire country, the piracy rate of software in 2011 was reported to be 58 percent.

In the first month of 2013, over 95 cases of intellectual property violations of software was refereed to the court system.

Source:  “Jordan to continue crackdown on pirated software,” Al Bawaba, February 18, 2013.