Software Piracy

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Software Piracy

Many people these days are guilty of being ‘software pirates’. They justify their actions by claiming they are stealing from the huge corporate company’s that are just out there to make a buck and don’t care about their customers. This viewpoint, however, overlooks the real fact that it is such actions that what is actually hurting customers and those who are law abiding citizens.

“Software piracy is the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software. This can be done by copying, downloading, sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies onto personal or work computers.” (What is Software Piracy?) The whole idea behind software piracy is that you are purchasing a, normally, single license copy to use that company’s product on your computer. You are not just purchasing the software itself, which tends to make some people not realize that some of their actions could be a form of software piracy and not even know it.

Software piracy in its entirety is unethical, let alone just plain illegal. Even though it is illegal, there are still millions of people throughout the world that are guilty of being software pirates. Not only does this affect the company itself that is having their software stolen from them, but it affects other companies as well as the loyal customers who actually purchase their products as intended.

There are four main types of software piracy that needs to be looked at more in depth to really understand why and how this is happening. The first form is considered ‘End User Piracy’. A Microsoft definition for end user piracy is, “End-user copying is a common type of piracy. It happens when individuals and businesses make copies of software without a license to do so. People may copy a program and give it to their friends without realizing that this is software piracy. Sometimes an organization will install software on more computers than its licenses allow.” (What is Software Piracy?)

Looking at this definition you may realize this happening around you often. A lot of businesses are especially guilty of installing more copies of a licensed piece of software on work computers than were originally intended. This is what really does not make sense to myself, as most companies would and should want to be legit in their dealings within the work place. Being caught for doing something like this could lead to huge financial costs as well as even give them a bad name to the public eye. Why risk such a thing? Next we have the form of piracy called counterfeiting. “Counterfeiting means duplicating and distributing imitation software on a large scale. This is a sophisticated activity and has close links to organized crime. It is extremely difficult to tell the difference between genuine and counterfeit software, and the Internet has made it easier for buyers to be deceived. When you buy online, you cannot see your goods until they are delivered - if they arrive at all. Clever counterfeiters can even fool resellers, who buy fake goods and distribute them without suspecting that anything is wrong.” (What is Software Piracy?) A lot of third world countries are dealing with this especially. Due to the United States not having any jurisdiction across seas, these places are able to make these fake and counterfeit software copies and then just resell them on the streets. Some of the biggest offending countries have been contacted by the US in an attempt to thwart such dealings, but this does not get very far. In Japan, there is software counterfeiting shops that will get shut down by the local police force. They just basically get handed a fine and either have their current stock taken, or are told to leave the area. The very next day though, these same people are back up in another location and are again selling their products. This form of software piracy is very hard to control and is probably the biggest form of financial lost for companies such as Adobe and Microsoft who are...
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