The countries where people steal the most software

Software piracy is a lot more rampant in China than the U.S., but the value of unlicensed software in the U.S. is still the highest in the world.

This chart from Statista, based on data from the Business Software Alliance, an industry body that promotes the properly licensed use of business software, shows the global picture. The U.S. has such a huge economy, and uses so much software, that even though the rate of unlicensed software is only 17%, the value of that software is over $9 billion. Countries like China, India, Russia, and Indonesia have higher rates of unlicensed use but the value is a lot less.

Unlicensed software not only includes blatant piracy, like breaking copy-protection and selling the results on the black market, but also business customers who fudge the rules by using software on more machines or for more users than they’re paying for. Some software vendors have extremely complicated licensing rules, so it’s a fair bet that some of this unlicensed use is not intentional — but to the software industry, it’s still stealing.

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