What is Software Piracy?
The illegal copying, distribution, or usage of computer programs is known as software piracy. It is one of those lucrative “businesses” that has caught the attention of organized crime in several nations. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) estimates that 36% of all software program applications are stolen software. Software piracy costs publishers a lot of money lost in sales, which means higher consumer costs.
An end-user license agreement (EULA) is included with commercial software packages to protect the software program against copyright infringement. The license usually indicates that you can install the original copy of software you purchased on one computer and make a backup copy; if you lost the original software or it is damaged. You agree to the licensing terms when you open the software package (also known as a shrink-wrap license) or install the software.
What sorts of software piracy exist?
Software privacy can be divided into five categories:
- End-user piracy
- Internet piracy
- Hard-disk loading
- Client-server overuse
Counterfeiting entails copyrighted software being illegally copied, sold, and/or distributed in to replicate the original product. Counterfeits for software applications come in various types of formats, including copies of compact discs that include the software.
License agreements, packaging, security features, labels, and registration cards are some of the other parts that are commonly counterfeited.
This sort of piracy involves an individual duplicating software without the permission of the software company. End-user piracy comes in a variety of forms, including:
- Various installations on multiple computers using a licensed copy
- Taking advantage of updates without owning a licensed copy of the previous version being updated
- Copying program onto discs to distribute or install them illegally.
- Obtaining restricted software, such as non-commercial, academic, or other restricted software, without the required license
- Changing discs either outside or within your place of business.
Internet piracy is a relatively common problem that involves duplicating software and uploading it to the internet.
Internet piracy is defined as users who download pirated software through the internet. The same restrictions apply to online software purchases as they do to CD purchases.
The following are some examples of prevalent internet pirate techniques:
- Websites where you can trade one piece of software for another.
- Websites provide visitors with free software downloads.
- Users can transfer copyrighted programs without permission using peer-to-peer networks.
Many computer sellers engage in this practice. A business placing illicit copies of software on the machines they sell is known as hard disk loading. This is typically done to make their offers more appealing to potential clients.
This type of piracy involves a network’s misuse of a central copy of a program.
If you have a LAN and plan to install software packages for a large number of users on it, make sure your licensing allows you to do so. If the number of users utilizing the software is greater than the number allowed by your software, you are overusing and pirating the software.
Why is pirated software a threat?
We often use a pirated copy of the software to save money. But we missed that it can be dangerous. Sometimes you could lose a fortune for that. Your computer could get hacked and lose data. There are many reasons for using original software.
Below are answers to the four most important questions.
What are the risks of pirated software?
Usually, the pirated software is tweaked, and that makes it faulty. That might carry some virus program, harming BIOS in the motherboard. That could cause severe damage to your computer. It could also damage your hard drive, which will be very devastating. Losing Motherboard, RAM, or Hard drive means losing the entire computer.
Is it safe to download pirated software online?
When you download pirated software, your computer might become vulnerable. It might become easily hackable. People might loot your valuable data without an effort. The pirated software doesn’t get vulnerability updates from the maker and remains completely unaware of new threats. Whenever someone finds a new threat, updates that in the vulnerability library, and makers publish an updated version for their software. You may take a look at such a library. https://www.exploit-db.com/ and https://www.rapid7.com/db/ are the two most popular exploit databases.
Original software always gets updated, and new updates prevent threats. That makes computers safe.
What are the limitations of pirated software?
Software makers continuously update their software. Remove bugs and glitches, and other problems. After that, they publish updates and upgraded versions. Original software buyers get those updates and upgrades from time to time. Sometimes software makers add a new feature or update existing components, making it more user-friendly. Pirated software users don’t get those things.
Is pirated software illegal?
Software Piracy has long been an illegal practice. Using pirated software is also prohibited. You could get punished if you get caught. It could be jail or a hefty fine. Software piracy is a punishable offence under civil and criminal law as per the Indian Copyright Act.
What are the safety measures to be checked?
Today, software piracy is a serious problem for businesses and developers. As a result, businesses must install anti-piracy protection mechanisms on their software-based products.
A user agreement is used by most businesses to ensure that their software is legally protected. Informing consumers that producing unauthorized copies is illegal helps to prevent people from breaking piracy laws without realizing it. If a user, company, school, or other organization is found to be running unlawful copies, they may be punished or prosecuted.
A product key, a unique collection of letters and numbers used to distinguish copies of the software, is the most widely used anti-piracy mechanism. A product key assures that only one person can use the program per purchase.
Adobe, for example, has migrated its applications to the cloud and now requires online verification. You must first log into your account before using their software, and any other computer or device that is currently using the program must be logged out. This type of verification allows a program to be installed on numerous devices, but it can only be used by one device at a time. Anyone who needs to use the same program on many devices at the same time might pay more for a software license that permits more devices.
Some software systems have built-in mechanisms to shut down and stop working if the source code is changed. Tamper proofing inhibits software piracy by preventing anyone from altering the program’s code.
On software interfaces, watermarks, corporate logos, or names are frequently used to signify that the items were purchased legally and are not illicit copies.
Many firms will struggle to stay operational as long as many people pirate software. Software producers will not get any incentive to continue developing programs if they cannot sell their goods in lawful markets. Investors will hesitate to invest in markets that are readily swayed by illicit activities or unable to attain their full potential. Hence for the greater good and as well as for personal safety, use the original legal copy of the software.
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One of my fellow blogger wrote a decent article about What foods dog should not eat?
You may read it: What foods dogs should not eat? – SmartPaws