According to a study conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the commercial value of pirated software increased 14 percent last year to nearly $59 billion and emerging economies accounts for over half the total.

As AFP reports, despite selling $95 billion worth of legal PC software in 2010, $58.8 billion worth of pirated software was installed. The BSA notes that for every dollar spent on legitimate software in 2010, an additional 63 cents worth of unlicensed software also made its way into the market.

PC shipments to emerging economies accounted for half the world’s total last year; however, the value of paid software licenses in those economies did not even come close, accounting for only less than 20 percent of the world total. At $31.9 billion, emerging economies accounted for over half the commercial value of pirated software last year.

Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America took the top spot with a piracy rate of 64 percent. The Asia-Pacific region comes in second with a piracy rate of 60 percent, followed by The Middle East with 58 percent.

Interestingly, while the United States had the lowest piracy rate at 20 percent, it ranked at the top in terms of the commercial value of pirated PC software, estimated at $9.5 billion dollars.

The report indicates that the most common form of software piracy was to buy a single copy of software and install it on multiple computers, a practice which 51 percent of PC users surveyed in emerging markets mistakenly believe is legal.