According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), software pirates snatched more than $50 billion straight out of developers' pockets last year. The organization's annual report says that some 43% of all software used on computers worldwide in 2009 was pirated, up from 41% in the year prior. In total, the firm believes piracy losses amounted to $51.4 billion. That slight growth in software theft is mostly attributed to the rapidly expanding PC market in countries such as Brazil, India, and China.
The highest piracy rate was found in Georgia, where an estimated 95% of all software installed was illegal. Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Moldova, Armenia, and Yemen followed with 90% to 92% of software being illegitimate. The US, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, and Australia had the lowest piracy rates, with figures ranging between 20 and 25%. The Asia-Pacific region in general pirated an estimated 59% of all software, supposedly costing the industry $16.5 billion.
Obviously not every pirated copy translates to a lost sale. Considering that and other factors, we don't have to tell you that these numbers should be taken with a degree of skepticism, but we will anyway: Take these numbers with a degree of skepticism!