Software Piracy Essay

974 words - 4 pages

Software Piracy

Software piracy is the illegal reproduction and distribution of software applications, whether it is for personal use or business. In society today, Internet users are obtaining millions of dollars in software illegally. Piracy includes the illegal copying of programs, counterfeiting and distributing software, and even sharing a program with a friend. Software has become such an important productivity tool, the illegal copying and distribution of software piracy persists globally. In fact, in the United States is one in four software programs that is unlicensed. According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), more than 800,000 web sites illegally sell or distribute software (Microsoft.com).

There are many types of software piracy such as uploading and downloading, softlifting, counterfeiting, OEM bundling, hard disk loading and renting. By having familiarity with them can protect you from any connection. Softlifting is purchasing a licensed copy of software and uploading it on several computers against the license terms. Some examples of softlifting are sharing software with friends, co-workers and others. Uploading and downloading is another form of piracy, such as when making unauthorized copies of copyrighted software available to end users connected by a modem to online service providers and or the Internet. Another one is software counterfeiting which is illegal duplicating and selling copyrighted software and a form designed to make it appear legitimate. OEM bundling is selling stand alone software that was intended to be bundled with specific accompanying hardware. Hard disk loading is installing unauthorized copies of software onto the hard disks of personal computers, often as an incentive for the end user to buy the hardware from the particular hardware dealer. Renting is the unauthorized selling of software for temporary use, like you would a video (Microsoft.com).

It is very important to protect your software at all times. Developing software involves a major investment of time, money, and effort. Software piracy denies you the revenue you deserve and harms your paying customers who ultimately bear the cost of illegal use of products (Aladdin.com).

Whether or not software piracy is deliberate, it is still illegal and punishable by law. There are significant financial and legal penalties for software piracy. Illegal distribution and use of software can result in prison terms of up to 5 years, and felony years up to $250,000. This is why having a software license is very important. Software license are legal documents describing the proper...

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