Software piracy is the illegal copying, distribution, or use of software. It is such a profitable “business” that it has drawn the attention of organized crime groups in several countries. Approximately 30% of all software, in current use, is stolen.
Penalties for software piracy apply to users who illegally reproduce copyrighted works and/or users who knowingly are in possession of illegally reproduced works.
How to recognize pirated software?
End users may notice warning signs indicating pirated software, especially if purchased digital media is encased in non-visible or generic containers, such as CD sleeves or unnamed disc packages.
What are the consequences of software piracy?
Losses incurred as a result of software piracy directly affect the profitability of the software industry. Because of the money lost to pirates, publishers have fewer resources to devote to research and development of new products, have less revenue to justify lower software prices, and are forced to pass these costs on to their customers. Consequently, software publishers, developers, and vendors are taking serious steps to protect their revenue.
The use of pirated software is also risky for users. Aside from the legal consequences of using pirated software, users of pirated software also miss out on some practical benefits, such as updates and technical support.
Disadvantages of pirated software
- Increase the chances of the software not working properly or failing completely.
- Losing access to customer support, updates, technical documentation, training, and bug fixes.
- They have no guarantee to protect themselves.
- It increases your risk of exposure to a debilitating virus that can destroy valuable data.
- You may find that the software is actually an outdated version, a beta (trial) version, or a non-working copy.
- They are subject to significant fines for copyright infringement.
- Potential risk of negative publicity and public and private embarrassment.