Software piracy definition
Software piracy is using, distributing, or reproducing computer software without respecting copyright laws or license restrictions. This activity is illegal and a serious issue that can have significant consequences for both individuals and organizations, such as legal action, including fines and imprisonment. It can also lead to financial losses for the copyright owner, security risks for the users, and lower quality and performance than legitimate software. Commonly used forms of piracy include hard disk loading, counterfeiting, end-user piracy, reseller piracy, and internet piracy.
Types of software piracy
- End-user piracy. One or multiple people make or sell unlicensed copies of software.
- Corporate piracy. Organizations use unauthorized software copies across a series of computers or devices within their network.
- Hard disk loading. Computer hardware resellers or manufacturers install copies of software into electronic devices before selling them.
- Counterfeiting. Unauthorized users duplicate and distribute software in physical forms, such as CDs or DVDs.
- Renting. A person rents a copy of the software without permission from the copyright holder.
- Internet piracy. It is the most common type of software piracy. Anyone is able to download a “free” copy of the software without having the proper license.
- Client-server overuse. More people than the license allows being connected to the server simultaneously.