According to the fourth annual global PC software piracy study by the Business Software Alliance, 35% of the software installed in 2006 on personal computers worldwide was obtained illegally, amounting to nearly $40 billion in global losses. In China, the piracy rate dropped 10% since 2003 ($864 million saved in losses) while the legitimate software market in China grew to nearly $1.2 billion in 2006, an increase of 88% over 2005. In Russia, piracy fell 7% since 2003. BSA, an international association representing the commercial software industry, used IDC, the information technology industrys leading global market research and forecasting firm, to conduct the study independently. IDC used proprietary statistics for software and hardware shipments and enlisted IDC analysts in fifty countries to confirm software piracy trends.
Worldwide, for every two dollars of software purchased legitimately, one dollar was obtained illegally. Global losses increased in 2006 by more than $5 billion (15%) over the previous year. Of the 102 countries covered in this years study, piracy rates dropped moderately in 62 countries, while increasing in 13. "The good news is we are making progress, however, we still have a lot of work to do to reduce unacceptable levels of piracy. These significant losses translate into negative impacts on IT industry employment, revenues, and financial resources available for future innovation and the development of new technologies. The critical elements of the global fight against software piracy are education, strong government policy, and enforcement," said BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman.