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What is Software Piracy?

These days, software piracy is a global problem. According to a survey in 2022, 6.2% of people worldwide had visited software piracy websites. It is not necessary to be a skilled programmer or hacker to do software piracy. If they disobey software regulations, anyone with a computer can turn into a software pirate. It is crucial to comprehend the nature of software piracy and the risks associated with it.

What is Software Piracy

What is software piracy?

The unlawful and unethical utilization of authorized software, such as its copying, theft, distribution, modification, or transfer in ways that are illegal under copyright laws, is known as software piracy. The initial purpose of copyright rules was to ensure that software developers-such as creators, coders, graphic designers, and others-were properly credited and paid for their labor. Software piracy results in the theft of remuneration from these legitimate, rightful copyright holders.

An overview of software piracy and those who engage in it

The act of utilizing, copying, distributing, changing, sharing, or trading computer software that is protected by software laws without authorization is known as software piracy. Anybody who engages in these illicit activities, whether on purpose or accidentally, is considered a software pirate. Hackers and expert programmers are not prerequisites for becoming software thieves. It is sufficient to use software that is illegal or to copy and distribute authorized software without the owner of the copyright's permission.


Software piracy comes in many forms. However, whether buying and using software packages or downloading content from the internet, one should avoid the five primary forms of software piracy listed below.


Softlifting occurs when a single software version is purchased, and although the license states that the product should only be downloaded once, it is subsequently downloaded onto many devices. There's another name for it: end-user piracy. Commercial or educational institutions usually carry out the most prevalent kind of piracy in an effort to save money.


This can result from a lack of asset management policies, either intentionally or inadvertently.

Examples include:

  1. When an excessive number of users on the same network utilize an original copy of the software at the same time.
  2. If the program is utilized off-site or within the company's domain.
  3. or if numerous users access the program despite the license being based on specified users.


Software that has been unlawfully replicated and spread under the pretense of authenticity is called counterfeiting. Cybercriminals usually sell counterfeit software programs at a lower price than the original price.


Internet piracy is another name for online piracy. When illicit software is obtained or disseminated online, it's known as online piracy. Peer-to-peer file-sharing networks typically enable people to save and share copyrighted software, movies, music, and games.


A PC reseller who purchases an authorized piece of software then, copies it, loads it on a computer's hard drive, and then sells the computer is engaging in a type of commercial software piracy known as hard disk loading.

What are the effects of Software Piracy?

  • In June 2018, the BSA Global Software research revealed that 37 percent of the software downloaded on desktops and laptops is not authorized. These figures represent a small decrease from the 2016 survey. The truth is that unauthorized software usage is still common and has a big financial impact on providers and their clients.

The 2018 research also emphasized how dangerous software is as a major problem:

  • When an organization installs unlicensed software, there is a chance of encountering malware once in three.
  • Each malware attack can cost an average of $2.4 million for a company. Furthermore, it may require up to 50 days to finish.
  • This may harm the company's brand and reputation.

Why is Software Piracy considered a crime?

The purpose of copyright laws is to guarantee that software developers are properly credited and paid for their contributions. Software piracy is prohibited and prosecuted as an unlawful act as copyright holders are deprived of their money, recognition, and credit anytime software is used, copied, or traded without authorization. Copyright infringement may result in large times.

Give examples of Software Piracy

There are several examples of software piracy happening worldwide. Here are some common examples-

  • Installing free copyrighted movies, video games, music, or digital books from fraudulent sites.
  • Software piracy includes other activities, such as streaming content without permission from the content's legitimate owner.
  • Software piracy occurs when someone purchases a used computer or hard drive that has pirated software loaded on it.

Risks associated with Software Piracy

  • Original software is expensive, and using pirated software might be cheaper than buying the original one. Users should be informed of the risks associated with downloading software illegally, nevertheless.
  • Users will not get notifications or assistance from the program manufacturer because they are using it illegally.
  • There is a greater chance that unlicensed software will malfunction or crash for the illegal user.
  • It is dangerous to visit pirate websites because, in addition to unwanted advertisements, they may include malicious files.
  • The user faces legal consequences due to violation of copyright laws, including financial loss.

How to protect yourself from Software Piracy?

It's crucial to keep ourselves safe on the internet to prevent us from engaging in software piracy. Here are some actions are mentioned below.

  1. It would help if you bought software programs only from authorized manufacturers.
  2. Choose wisely the websites where you download the stuff from. It is important to make sure you are visiting its official site instead of near identical sites set by cyber fraud.
  3. You always have to make sure to scan your files for viruses. Even if the user visits only a trusted website and downloads licensed software, the person may absentmindedly open an attachment in a random email and unleash malware that will affect the computer. To prevent these mistakes, while downloading, there is NordVPN's feature Threat Protection, which scans all files.
  4. The last instruction that everyone should remember is always to read the end-user license agreement before you share the software with anyone else.

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