Software Piracy









Complied by Alok Tiwari, DIO & PSA


Software piracy is the unauthorized copying of an organizations internally developed software or the illegal duplication of commercially available software. When a user purchases software, he gets a software license for his own machine, he cannot copy the software on the others machine or he cannot make illegal copies of the software.   A software license is a type of proprietary license, which acts as a memorandum of contract between the producer and the user of the computer software. It is also called as END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT (EULA), which specifies the perimeters of the permission granted by the owner to the user of the software.


Types of Software Piracy


There are basically nine types of software piracy and these all are damaging both to the software publisher & the end user.


1. Soft loading

2. Software Counter Feinting

3. Internet downloading

4. Renting

5. Hard Disk Loading

6. License misuse

7. OEM

8. Academic Product misuse

9. Not For Sale



Soft loading means sharing a program with someone who is not authorized by the license agreement to use it. A common form of soft loading involves purchasing a single license copy of the software & then loading the software onto several computers in violation of licensing terms, e.g. sharing software with the friends, co workers & others.



Software Counterfeiting means producing fake copies of the software, making it look authentic. This involves providing the packing box, CD’s or floppies or manuals, all designed to look like the original product. Most commonly, the copy of CDs is made with a CD burner and a photocopy of the manual is also made. Counterfeiting software is sold on streets corners and sometimes unknowingly sold even in the retail stores. Counterfeiting software is sold at prices for below the actual price.



It is the  fastest growing form of the privacy with the growing no of online users & with rapidly increasing connections speeds the exchange  of software on the internet has attracted an extensive following. Currently , there are hundereds of thousands of “WARZ” sites providing unlimited downloads to any user. Often these software by sites craked to any copy protection scheme.




It involves someone renting out a copy of software for temporary use, w/o  the permission of the copy right holder. The practice, similar to that of renting a video of a movie, violates the license agreement of the software.



It is often committed by H/w dealers, this form of piracy involves loading an unauthorized copy of the software onto a computer being sold to the customer. This makes the deal more attractive to the customer at virtually no cost to the dealer. The dealer usually doesn’t provide the buyer the original CDs, the license and the manuals.



Software distributed under the special discount licenses to high volume customers, computer manufacturer or academic institutions, which is then redistributed to the others who do not hold a quality for these licenses, constitutes the misuse.


7.OEM ( Original   Equipment Manufactures )

It is also called as unbundling. It involves selling standalone software, which is originally meant to be included with a specific accompanying product.



This form of license misuse occurs when a product that is manufactured, licensed and specifically marked for the distribution to the educational institutions and students at the reduced price is diverted into the normal market.



This form of license misuse occurs when a product  that has been clearly marked “NOT FOR RESALE” is typically distributed as a promotional or sample product & is not licensed for normal commercial distribution & use, is diverted into the normal market.


Steps taken to prevent piracy


It is important that we should use an authorized copy of the software for our own use. A copyright is a form of intellectual property that grants its holder the legal right to restrict the copying and use of an original, creative expression for a defined period. Now a days many people use a general-purpose license that make a software free for all the time it is called as GNU (General public license).


Some Guidelines are as follows


1.    Always buy software from the authorized sellers and when in doubt try to contact the authorized dealers.

2.    While purchasing software, consumers should make sure that they get authentic software license.

3.    Unless authorized in the licensing agreement, employees of an organization should make personnel copies of the software used in an organization.

4.    One should not make copies of software other than the allowed by the license agreement.

5.    Software renting etc should not be practices.

6.     To prevent software piracy, one should inform the copyright holder.





These software are not under the copyright act. They are free programs & can be used w/o restrictions. It means the user of the software can copy, distribute & even modify the software.



It is a copyright software which is given free by its author. The user of the software redistribute the software but cannot be modified by the end user. It also covers

·        Donation ware : A donation is required by the author or to the 3rd party from the user of the software

·        Postcard ware : The user has to send a post card to the creator of the software.

·        Abandon ware : The abandoned software are in this category.

·        Ad ware : To promote the s/w as advertisement the software’s are given free of cost.



Shareware is the software, which comes with the permission for the people to redistribute copies for a limited period. So far a continues use of the software one have to pay for the software. e.g.  Winzip



These are the software purchased from the software publishers. It is available in stores & has some objective to fulfill. e.g. Windows software, Ms Office etc.



These are created by generous programmers & related to the public use. The programming code is available to the users so that they can read it and make changes according to their use & needs. They can build the new versions of the software by using the same code. E.g. Linux software.



It describes a technology or product that is owned exclusively by a single company that carefully guards the knowledge about the technology and the product internal working. Some proprietary product can function when used with other products owned by some other company. E.g. Acrobat reader PDF (Portable document format).



It is a combination of the software and h/w which is permanently stored in the memory. It is a program or data that has been written onto ROM.


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