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We’ve compiled aggregate Revenera Compliance Intelligence data to produce our updated list of the Top 20 Software License Misuse and Piracy Hotspots around the globe for 2021. If you’re not familiar, Compliance Intelligence enables software suppliers to detect, identify and report on the unlicensed use of their applications so they can monetize that unpaid use.

Top 20 Software License Misuse and Piracy Hotspots 2021

These are the top 20 countries using pirated software as of February 2021:

1. China
2. Russia
3. Ukraine
4. Italy
5. India
6. France
7. Mexico
8. United States
9. South Korea
10. Germany
11. Vietnam
12. Taiwan
13. Iran
14. Hong Kong
15. Brazil
16. Turkey
17. Peru
18. Romania
19. Hungary
20. Morocco

Converting Software Pirates to Paying Customers

When we look at countries in the Top 20 with strong IP laws and a track record of successful license compliance programs, and cross-reference them with the latest BSA Global Software Survey calculation of the commercial value of unlicensed software, there is a $17.1 billion new license revenue opportunity for software vendors (up 26% from our last analysis).

Regional strategies to generating revenue from the unlicensed use of software yield the best results. While an “inside sales” approach works well in North America and western Europe, raids with government agencies are a better approach in certain countries in Asia.

The bottom line? Compliance Intelligence data has supported customer compliance programs generating more than $3.2 billion in new license revenue since 2010.

“Where is Our Software Being Used?”

Once again, Iran makes a strong showing in the Top 20, which may or may not come as a surprise since Iran is a sanctioned destination. Having access to data like this makes it easier for software suppliers to track and address these issues, especially in cases where licensed customers have installed software in countries like Iran in violation of their license or export control laws.


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Speaking of sanctions, recent efforts targeting China have resulted in some manufacturing operations moving to countries like Vietnam and we are seeing infringement data that reflects these shifts. Interestingly, while there was a dip in infringements in the apparel industry in Vietnam early in the pandemic, it has bounced back up as those manufacturers have switched to making personal protective equipment (PPE) – all positive news for customers that have seen successful compliance programs in countries like Vietnam and South Korea.

Russia also continues its streak at the top of the list. While it can be a challenging region for license compliance, targeting entities away from the defense can yield successful outcomes for software suppliers.

Compliance efforts in India have struggled during the pandemic. In previous years software suppliers have seen solid compliance results in India, but the in-person nature of those programs and practices has been negatively impacted by Covid and the need to quarantine. Needless to say, we have also seen that license compliance programs face a tougher road in countries struggling with political issues.

Data-Driven Software License Compliance

Armed with actionable compliance data, software suppliers are in a better position to prioritize their efforts to convert unpaid use and adjust their regional programs based on the trends that they are seeing. This year’s Top 20 shows that the opportunity to generate new license revenue is significant. Want to learn more about your own opportunity? Check out our blog on What is Software Piracy and be sure to download Best Practices for Assessing Your Software Piracy Risk or contact us about monetizing unlicensed use today.