Book Piracy

News, statisitics and facts about book piracy. Data about downloading pirated ebooks and the selling and buying of pirated books are collected from publishing agents, book publishing companies and security agencies.

As of 2012, there were over 100,000 Russian ebooks available on book piracy websites, compared to 60,000 book titles available at legitimate websites, according to Russia’s Press and Communication Agency.

As much as 90 percent of the ebook market in Russia consists of pirated books. In comparison, pirated ebooks makes up 29 percent of all book downloads in the United Kingdom.

Source:  Alexandra Guzeva, “Pirates in Russia plunder e-book market,” Telegraph, July 4, 2012.

According to the Chairman of a Nigerian publishing company, book piracy activities in the country causes $125 Million (20 Billion Nigerian Naira) in losses to domestic publishing houses each year.

Books that are published in Nigeria are taken outside of the country and illegally copied and sold across Africa.

In the United States, the latest available figures on book piracy showed that $600 Million was lost to pirated books.

Source: Mohammed Shosanya, “Nigeria: Book Publishers Loses N20 Billion Annually to Piracy,” allAfrica, May 24, 2012.

In 2011, book publishers in India lost up to $387,000 (20 Million Indian Rupees) to book piracy. In the first three months of 2012, almost half that amount was estimated to have been lost to piracy.

In the city of Bangalore, the Central Crime Branch believes that there are over 20 underground chains of book piracy groups who copy books and sell them on the black market. Up to 5 pirated books groups enter the industry each year.

Authorities seized over 50,000 pirated copies of books in 2011 across the country.

Source:  Sheetal Sukhija, “Enter the piracy kingdom of Bangalore,” IBN, April 14, 2012.


During raids conducted in December 2011, authorities seized over 100,000 pirated books in Pakistan, with a majority of the book being seized in the city of Lahore.

Every year, the government of Pakistan losses up to $221 Million (20 Billion Pakistan Rupees) in tax revenue due to the pirating of intellectual property within the country.

Source: Aroosa Shaukat, “Intellectual property: Lahore declared ‘centre of book piracy’,” Express Tribune, January 5, 2012.

At the end of 2011, an estimated 20 percent of all ebooks downloaded on to ereaders were believed to have been pirated.

In the United Kingdom, the Publishers Associated issued 115,000 legal notices to websites who were offering free pirated copies of books, an increase of 130 percent from the number of notices sent out in 2010.

(More pirated books statistics.)

Source: Sean Poulter, “Online pirates threaten Kindle profits as thousands turn to sites to download free eBooks,” Daily Mail, January 1, 2012.

In Peru, there are more pirated copies of books that are sold than there are of legitimate books.

In addition, the pirated books publishing industry employs more people than the legal book industry and earns roughly the same amount of money.

Source: Robert Neuwirth, Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy, (Pantheon, New York. 2011), page 105.

The book industry association in Germany stated that around 60 percent of all e-books downloaded in the country are pirated.

As of 2011, the e-book market in Germany had about a 0.5 percent market share.

Source: Associated Press, “German book industry urges steps against illegal e-book downloads, though market remains tiny,” Washington Post, October 11, 2011.

Pirated books makes up to 85 percent of all sales in foreign language schools and universities in Vietnam.

The piracy rate for English language books itself was previously reported to be higher at 90 percent.

Source: “English schools face book-piracy lawsuit,” VietNam News, July 28, 2011.

Kenya Publishing Association reported that book industry loses $22 Million (2 Billion Kenyan Shilling) a year to piracy.

 Source: Ashley Lime, “Sh2bn lost to book piracy every year,” Daily Nation, July 18, 2011.

Due to a rise in e-readers and tablets, 0ne out of eight women in Britain over 35 who owns an ereader illegally downloads pirated ebooks.

The rate of piracy is much higher then other forms of entertainment, as one in twenty women over the age of 35 in Britain admits to illegally downloaded pirated music.

Source: Christopher Williams, “E-books drive older women to digital piracy,” Telegraph, May 17, 2011.