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Understanding Software Piracy

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Software Piracy is the illegal approach of copying, distributing, modifying, selling, or using the software which is legally protected. So in a simple term, we can say Software piracy is the act of stealing legal software in an illegal way. This software piracy refers to the unauthorized copy and use of legal software. And now this critical problem has turned into a global issue.

Regulation for Software Piracy :
Software piracy is illegal and there are strict laws for these illegal activities. So monetary penalties are also there for this lawbreaker who breaks these copyright laws and creates copyright violation.

End-User License Agreement(EULA) is a license agreement which is mostly used for software to protect its legality. It is a contract between the manufacturer and the end-user. This rule defines the rules for legal software. One common rule in EULA is that it prevents the user from sharing the software with others.

Types of Software Piracy :
There are mainly 5 types of Software Piracy. Each type of software piracy is explained well below:

  1. Softlifting-
    It is the most common type of software piracy. In this piracy, the legal owner of the software is one, but the users are multiple. For instance, someone purchases the genuine software, and others will illegally use that software by downloading the software to their computer.

    For example, many times we borrow the software from our colleague and install a copy of that on our computer just to save the money which rises to softlifting one type of software piracy.

  2. Hard-disk Loading-
    It is the most common type of software piracy which mainly happens in PC resell shops. The shop owner buys a legal copy of the software and reproduces its copies in multiple computers by installing it. Most of the time customers/PC users are not aware of these things and get the pirated version of the software in the original S/W price or less than the original price. It is one type of Commercial software piracy.

  3. Counterfeiting-
    In counterfeiting the duplicates are created of genuine/legal software programs with the appearance of authenticity. Then these duplicate software are sold out at less price.

  4. Client-Server overuse –
    In client-server overuse, more copies of the software are installed than it has licensed for. Mainly it has seen in local business sectors when they work under a local area n/w and install the software in all the computers for use by a number of employees which is an unauthorized practice.

  5. Online Piracy-
    In online piracy, the illegal software is acquired from online auction sites and blogs which is mainly achieved through the P2P(Peer to Peer) file-sharing system. As it is acquired by means of the Internet, often it is called Internet Piracy.

Software Piracy is a danger because:

  • Many times it fails or malfunction.
  • No warranty of the product as it is acquired by illegal way.
  • Risk of security issues.
  • No upgrade and improvement in features and functionality
  • High risk of virus and malware infection to the computer.

Software piracy may be easily avail the pirated software in a cheaper price, but users should aware about its bad effects on the system, data, security point of view as well as users should be aware about the strict consequences for offenders breaking the law.

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Last Updated : 08 Jun, 2020
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