Programming

Software Piracy and its Effect on the Software Industry

Software Piracy

In today’s world, software plays a great role in our lives as digital world has taken over our lives. But, it faces a major problem as well i.e Piracy. it’s important for us to understand its importance There are Copyright laws issued by the government to protect such piracy but unfortunately technology has advanced so much that it has devised ways to distribute copyrighted work legally as well as illegally.

Software Piracy is one such cyber crime which is committed and has an immense effect on software industry. Software piracy refers to unauthorized copying or distribution of software programs with a copyright by a person who is not licensed to use it and doesn’t have ownership  or legal rights. Such copies work just the way as originals do and are sold in low cost. To understand it, you might think of a common robbery at your house. Although, nothing is physically taken but it has the similar effect on software industry as in case of such theft. Some people don’t even know that it’s a crime and yet commit it. Due to this, huge losses are suffered by the software industry and affects its profitability. Not only software industry, people also suffer from this as there is no warranty that it’ll work properly. It might even not work as well and increase their risk of exposure to a debilitating virus that can destroy valuable data.

Software Piracy

The main kinds of Software Piracy are mentioned as follows :

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Internet Piracy

It refers to downloading the software from the internet. It can happen in various ways such as making it available for download for free.There are various sites where such copies are available to download. With the increasing use of internet and internet speed, this is becoming a common practice.

Renting

It involves renting  a software copy temporarily but copyright holder’s permission is not taken.

Hard-Disk Loading

This practice is generally practiced by hardware dealers. They sell new computers to the customers with illegal copies of software. Original software is not provided to them. This lowers the cost of the dealer and it seems like an attractive deal to the customer.

Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting involves producing  fake software copies i.e illegal duplication and selling them at lower costs to the customers. It is generally practiced by roadside vendors and retail shops as well.

Softlifting

Softlifting is a common type of software piracy in which a legally licensed software program is installed or copied in violation of its licensing agreement. It involves using one licensed copy to install a program on multiple computers.

Unbundling  

Unbundling means selling the software separately which was supposed to be included with some product. For example: printer drivers provided without  permissions.

Consequences

Security risks

As soon as you download a pirated software copy, there is always a risk of viruses entering your PC. they automatically  download malware as soon as it is installed. People buy it keeping in mind the low cost but do not think of the damages it can cause to our devices and violation of copyright laws. The devices are put at high risk while using such software. It can even lead to loss of your valuable data from your devices. It  can even steal personal information without your information.

Social Impacts

Software Piracy affects multiple parties such as the consumers, resellers and software developers. It really needs to stop to boost the economy and increase revenue of software companies.

Impact on Software Industry

IT sector is considered to be one of the important factors for successful operation of a business. Such acts lead to huge losses to the software industry. The profitability lowers down and revenue is lost which means less funds for future.  It can limit the growth opportunities for software industries.

No warranty

No warranty is provided to the users of copied softwares. There is always a possibility that it  won’t work. So, if it doesn’t, the seller won’t be responsible in this case. Hence, this is one of the major drawbacks. There is no reliability and protection.

Ineligibility for software upgrades

Those who buy copied softwares instead of the original ones, they are not eligible for software upgrades which are offered to the licensed users of original copies.

Legal consequences

If you are found guilty, the damages and any compensation is to be paid by you. It also includes the losses. It can even lead to imprisonment in worst cases.

No technical support

No technical support is provided on purchasing pirated software which can be a problem in future. They are not able to take advantage of the technical support which is  provided to registered users.

No documentation

Pirated software generally has improper documentation, which means the customers are not able to enjoy the full features of a software package. The usage is limited.

WHY ORIGINAL ?

  • Reliability
  • Protection
  • Eligibility for software upgrades
  • Boosts revenue of software industry

With advance technology, piracy rates have been on a rise. It is important to protect software products from such illegal activities. Software companies must be  aware of the tactics that pirates use to steal software, and common tactics they can use to protect their intellectual property. The harder it is for a user to pirate a product, the more likely they will purchase it legally. However it is not easy to detect piracy. We are usually attracted because of low cost. It’s immoral to sell such copies as it causes huge losses to the software industry and hamper its growth and development. It’s as simple as this saying goes- If you don’t own it, don’t use it!

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