Worldwide Anti-Piracy Trends & Data

According to a recent Harrison Group study, computers using counterfeit software have an increased risk of security threats and also perform much more poorly than those using genuine software. In fact, the study found:

  • Nearly one in four (24%) of the pirated operating systems became infected at installation, or independently downloaded and installed malicious software upon connection to the internet and one in four of the counterfeit versions of Microsoft software tested was unable to download automatic Windows and Office updates.
  • In a test measuring the time it took to load popular Internet web pages that were heavy with text and graphics, PCs running genuine Windows outperformed their pirated counterparts 59% of the time by an average of 46%.
  • In tests measuring the time it takes to print 500kb or 1mb Word documents, genuine machines were faster than their pirated counterparts in half (48%) of the test configurations by an average of 56%.
  • Worms, Trojans and viruses were discovered across both Windows XP and Windows 7 installations, indicating that no pirated platform was safe from threat, and across all of the distribution channels that we investigated.

According to results of a consumer perception study, the majority of consumers stated that they were against piracy. In fact, the details outlined below show a significant negative perception toward pirated and counterfeit software.

Most consumers know the difference between genuine and counterfeit software, and believe that genuine software performs better.

  • By a 2:1 margin, consumers disagree that there is no real difference between counterfeit and genuine software.
  • 70% + agree that compared to counterfeit software, genuine software is what I want to use, is more secure, is more stable and is easy to keep up to date.  An even greater proportion agrees that there is a difference between counterfeit and genuine.
  • Consumers are four times more likely to recommend genuine over counterfeit software to their friends and relatives, even if genuine software costs more.

Not only does genuine software perform better, but using counterfeit software carries with it both risks and annoyances.

  • By a 3:1 margin, consumers disagree that counterfeit software is just as safe to use as genuine.
  • 8 out of 10 could identify a concern they had with counterfeit software.  One of every 2 consumers we interviewed said either data loss or identity theft was the greatest concern they had about counterfeit software
  • Consumers who say there is a difference between genuine and counterfeit also think that counterfeit is twice as likely as genuine to cause nuisance factors such as error messages and being forced to re-load software.

Consumers are taking action and want others to, as well.

  • 72% who bought their software in a store said they checked the packaging to make sure it was genuine, 72% who bought online checked the product description for the same thing, 78% of consumers can recall entering a product key.
  • 75% agree that consumers need ways to protect themselves from inadvertently buying counterfeit software.
  • 72% agree that software companies should do more to stop their products from being counterfeited.
  • 65% agree that government should do more to reduce the amount of counterfeit software.
  • Worldwide software piracy trends in 2010* (Source: BSA/IDC):
  • Worldwide software piracy rate reached 42% in 2010, up 14% from 2009.
  • Commercial value of software piracy reached a record total of US$58.8 billion.
  • Emerging economies accounted for 50% of the world’s software use, but the value of paid software licenses in emerging economies accounted for less than 20% of the world total.
  • Results of reducing piracy rate by 10 percentage points in four years (Source: BSA/IDC):
  • $142 billion in new economic activity
  • Add nearly 500,000 new high-tech jobs

Software User PERCEPTION & Data

2010 BSA/IDC Global Software Piracy study (Source: BSA/IDC):

Businesses and consumers bought nearly $95 billion worth of PC software—but illegally installed another $59 billion worth.

51% of surveyed software users in emerging markets (including the same percentage of business decision-makers) mistakenly believe it is legal to buy a single copy of software and install it on multiple computers.

According to a recent survey by BSA/IDC (Source: BSA/IDC):

46% of software users in developing economies believe software downloaded through peer-to-peer networks is “probably legal,” as compared with 21% in mature markets.

45% assume it is legal to install software lent to them by a friend or co-worker, compared with 29% in mature markets.

71% of respondents agree that innovators should be paid for their creations, because it provides incentives for more technology advances.

Online piracy data

2010 Symantec Internet Security Threat report (Source: Symantec):

The worldwide financial cost of cybercrime in 2010 was $114 billion.

The study discovered more than 286 million unique variants of malware.

There was a 93% increase in the volume of web-based attacks.

There were more than 260,000 identities exposed in each of the data beaches caused by hacking.

65% of surveyed participants say they have been a victim of online crime, including virus or malware attacks, online scams, phishing, social network profile hacking and credit card fraud.

Generate approximately $32 billion in new tax revenues