Software Piracy and Linux Adoption

11 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2016 Last revised: 24 Feb 2016

Date Written: February 23, 2016


The open-source software operating system Linux is a free-of-charge substitute to proprietary systems like Microsoft Windows. By using a cross-country data set, this paper finds evidence that increased piracy of proprietary software has a negative impact on adoption of desktop versions of Linux. The interpretation of this result is that the availability of pirated versions of Windows, as well as pirated applications compatible with Windows and OS-X, lead to fewer individuals installing a Linux operating system on their desktop computers. Thus, in the absence of software piracy, Linux would be a more widely used operating system.

Keywords: Open-source software, software piracy, intellectual property

JEL Classification: L11, L17, O34

Suggested Citation

Gramstad, Arne, Software Piracy and Linux Adoption (February 23, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Arne Gramstad (Contact Author)

Oslo Economics ( email )

Kronprinsesse Märthas plass 1
Oslo, 0160

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics