The rate of software piracy has increased rapidly in the past few years. When it comes to online piracy, most people think about films and music. People usually don’t give much attention to software piracy. Most brands also struggle quite a lot to prevent software piracy. If you want to browse the internet and use your PC safely then it is very important for you to know everything about software piracy.
If you don’t know much about Software piracy then there is no need to worry because you are in the right place. Today, we will be discussing everything about Software Piracy.
What is Software piracy & How it works?
Illegal copying of purchased software is called Software Piracy. This is the simplest way by which one can define Software piracy.
One becomes the “licensed user” and not the owner of the software that he/she buys. This means that he/she can use the software in his/her PC but he/she is legally not allowed to share that software with anyone. You can create copies of that software as a licensed user but only as backups.
If you copy the software and share that file with other people then this act will be termed as a Copyright violation. Companies have tried their best to prevent software piracy is the past but most of them have failed.
Most Companies have now started to adopt a technology where every licensed user is asked to register themselves into the database of the company.
If any individual gets caught while doing software piracy or using pirated software then he/she can also land behind the bars since the government has rolled out some laws against software piracy.
Victims of Software Piracy:-
Let us now talk to us about some of the victims of Software Piracy.
Microsoft Windows and Products –
Windows piracy has always been a topic that has haunted Microsoft, so much so that even Bill Gates was one of the first victims of the plagiarism of his Altair Basic, the operating system for the Altair 8800. 44 years have passed since that time and today Microsoft windows is still a victim of piracy, there are thousands of illegally activated copies connected to the Internet, either through known activators or through OEM keys that are sold very cheaply on the Internet.
Similarly, products of Microsoft, such as Microsoft Office are also victims of Piracy. Their unauthorized copies are easily available on the internet.
Microsoft gives us several ways to download the Windows 10 ISO for free so that anyone can get an official image of this operating system, unmodified, and ready to install on any computer safely. However, modified and illegal versions of Windows circulate on the network modified by third parties to eliminate Windows libraries and programs, use an illegal license to activate the system and, surely, hide viruses or spyware to have our computer-controlled.
In addition to the dangers of downloading modified versions of Windows, the use of activators usually modifies sensitive parts of the operating system that, sooner or later, translates into all kinds of problems. For example, if an activator has modified certain system files to block connections with the Microsoft license server, the most likely is that we will have problems with Windows Updates, which will leave our operating system unusable. The use of activators and other applications that modify the Windows system files are one of the most common reasons why Windows updates fail.
Windows activators are usually of Russian origin, and their code is private, so we don’t really know what they do or what kind of files they copy to the system. Most likely, without knowing it, we are infecting our computer with malware and, in addition, we are part of a botnet.
The versions of Windows activated with illegal keys or with activators, in addition, usually give problems with many applications. By detecting the illegal key, or the generic keys for Windows 10, Microsoft can remotely block certain functions and features of the operating system (such as customization functions) and make some applications, especially those downloaded from the Microsoft Store, not work.
The illegal licenses, in addition, usually go to the blacklist of Microsoft every little time, so the safest thing is that every time we see the message that Windows is not activated, we should just ignore it or pay for the activation key.
Antivirus software is another huge victim of Software Piracy. It is supposed to be the shield of our computer. It is its duty to protect it from all the viruses and malware by detecting them and then removing them from the computer system.
As you can see today, a large percentage of users still choose not to pay for the services that an antivirus offers them. The reason is obvious, why pay for something that can be obtained for free? Really, we will see that it is not so obvious.
The cracked antivirus software offers us more or less “the same” but without the need to invest capital in it. The problem comes with the updates since it is very difficult to receive optimal support in these pirate antivirus.
Also, instantly downloading these pirated antiviruses, you run the risk of infecting your device. This is because you are downloading an unofficial file from an unofficial website. And, in the worst case, if your device is damaged by it, you will not have a claim option.
The truth is that having a pirate antivirus is worse than not having any. It is good if you can afford to pay for antivirus but it is okay even if you don’t use it at all.
Software Piracy Laws
A computer program is the intellectual property of the person who created it. Anyone who illegally copies or uses a pirated software can be sued for software piracy. Additionally, whoever makes pirated copies may be obliged to pay for damages or losses, the cost of selling all illegal copies, as well as the interest generated by that money. Even if there is the only suspicion of illegal activity, a judge may order a preliminary visit to your location.
The penalties for the illegal use of the software vary depending on whether it is appropriation or improper use of the programs and whoever does so can be entitled to prison.
Why one should not use Pirated Softwares?
There are many reasons why one should always purchase original software. Perhaps the most powerful reason in the eyes of users is the risk of going to prison for using pirated software but there are also some important economic considerations.
When someone buys or uses pirated software, they are not only denying the software producer their legitimate income, but they are also harming the industry as a whole. All software producers, both large and small, spend years researching and developing their products for the benefit of the public.
A considerable part of each dollar invested in buying original software is reverted to research and development to create better software. Piracy also decreases the availability of local support for products in addition to eliminating the possibility of distributing updated software.
By using Pirated software, users also risk their personal data and privacy. Pirated software can have dangerous viruses that can even steal your personal information including bank account details, passwords, browsing history, etc.
How to protect yourself from Software Piracy?
If you are an individual user of the software then you must always read the End-user license agreement after purchasing it. The EULA has all the terms and conditions written in it. It will also tell you about the legal number of copies that you can create.
Always make sure to buy the licensed software from their certified sellers. You can also get to know about the authenticity of software by its markings or seals. To know about the original marking, you can check the manufacturer’s website.
When becoming a licensed user, you will also receive updates. You cannot distribute or sell the older version if a newer version is out. An update is basically an improved version of the software. The updated version of a software may also provide you some new features and interface changes in the app. This doesn’t mean that you can distribute the older version if newer is out.
When it comes to online software, you must always download it only from the manufacturer’s website. You should never download the software from any peer-to-peer website. Also, make sure to register yourself on the manufacturer’s website after you buy the license.
If you ever think that your software is not authentic then it is very important to report it to higher authorities.
Make sure to keep the data of serial number and version number of the software installed in the computers of your employees.
Also if you are an employer, make sure that your employees have good knowledge about the laws of software piracy while hiring them.
It is very important to keep a record of each and every software license. Keeping a catalog of product name, serial number, the version number is always recommended.
In this article, we discussed everything about Software Piracy including its types, laws based on it, its consequences, methods to prevent it, etc.
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Call me Tech Enthusiastic, Entrepreneur & Promoter if You Like but I am none of these things. I have Been Gifted with Problem Solver Instincts & I am On Internet For 15 Hours a day. I Like Long Drives, Walks & Deep Conversation But Basically I am a Big Time Foodie. I may travel End of the World For Tasty Food. I Am the Co-Founder of Piracyleash.com & This is my Playground Now …Hoping to make this World Piracy free.