December 18, 1996 2:00 PM ET
$13.1 billion lost to software piracy last year
By Maria Seminerio

  An independent survey on software piracy, commissioned by the Software Publishers Association and Business Software Alliance and released today, estimates that more than $13.1 billion was lost worldwide in 1995 to illegal software usage.

That represents an increase of 9 percent from an estimated $12.2 billion lost in 1994.

The study, conducted by International Planning & Research, evaluated 1994 and 1995 software sales data and market information for 80 countries across 27 different business applications, said SPA and BSA officials. The industry groups commissioned an independent researcher to conduct the survey to develop a methodology for use in future surveys, the officials said.

Over the two years, Eastern European countries had the highest overall piracy rates, with an average of 83 percent. The lowest regional piracy rate over the survey period occurred in North America, with an average of 27 percent.

The individual nation with the highest software piracy rate last year--99 percent--was Vietnam, according to the survey. The United States reported the lowest piracy rate last year at 26 percent.

Although all regions showed a slight improvement in overall piracy rates between 1994 and 1995, "software piracy remains at unacceptably high levels around the globe," the industry groups said in a statement.

"Although there is some evidence from the 1995 figures that our anti-piracy education and enforcement work is beginning to show results, there is never any level of software piracy that can be considered acceptable," said SPA President Ken Wasch.

Global software piracy losses in 1995 exceeded the combined revenues of the top 10 PC software makers that year, according to BSA President Robert Holleyman.

The United States reported piracy revenue losses of $2.9 billion in 1995, down from $3.5 billion in 1994, according to the survey. In Western Europe, piracy losses exceeded $3.5 billion last year, up from $2.7 billion in 1994. In the Asia/Pacific region, losses were estimated at $3.9 billion in 1995, with $1.6 billion lost in Japan alone.

More information on the survey is available on the SPA's World Wide Web site at, and on the BSA Web site at

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