According to a report from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) the world-wide trade in pirated software (including, but not limited to video games) amounted to almost $29 billion in 2003. The entire legal market is only worth $51 billion, illustrating the seriousness of the situation.
Peer-to-peer file sharing services are being blamed for this huge level of piracy, although there is disagreement on how much the problem has increased in recent years – with possible inaccuracies in previous figures making it appear as if there has been a sudden and large rise in the problem.
Vietnam and China were singled out in the report as the “piracy capitals of the world”, accounting for 92% of all software installed. The Ukraine, Indonesia and Russia were also named as piracy hot spots, making stricter enforcement of copyright laws in these countries the only likely means by which the problem can be addressed.