In the global market for personal computers, 2010 was a watershed year. For the first time PC shipments to emerging economies outpaced those mature markets, 174 million to 173 million.
This turning point underscores how emerging economies have become the driving force behind PC software piracy, which leapt 14 percent globally in 2010 to $59 billion. This figure has nearly doubled in real terms since 2003.
The global piracy rate dropped by 1 point from 2009 to 42 percent — which remains the second-highest global rate in the study's history.
Half of the 116 economies studied in 2010 had piracy rates of 62 percent or higher, and two-thirds had at least one software program pirated for every one installed legally.
Emerging economies now account for more than half the global value of PC software theft, $31.9 billion.
Public opinion strongly favors intellectual property (IP) rights: seven PC users in 10 support paying innovators for their creations to promote more technology advances.
Many PC users lack a clear understanding of whether common ways of acquiring software are legal or illegal, especially in high-piracy markets.
PC users around the world recognize licensed software to be better than pirated software, with 81 percent saying it is more secure and reliable.