Let’s take a look at the 5 main types of software piracy that companies need to be aware of, and finish off with a suggestion on how to minimise what must be seen as major threat to any company involved in software production.
This is the first of our 5 main types of software piracy and relates to anyone who has the intention of imitating a product protected by copyright. Illegal activity includes the duplication, distribution and/or sale of any software that is under copyright.
When relating this to packaged software, Video, Audio and Photo-editing packages are amongst the most popular packages to be affected. Such counterfeiting includes copies of:
- Software on compact discs
- Licence agreements
- Registration cards
- Security features
- Related packaging
It should be understood that the same purchase rules apply to online software as those a person buys in compact disk format.
Internet Piracy relates to the illegal download of software from the internet.
Three common ways that internet piracy is carried out are:
- Peer-to-Peer networks allowing and enabling the unauthorised transfer of any software program that has copyright
- Websites which offer software packages free of charge in exchange for other packages
- Internet auction sites offering counterfeit software packages
End user piracy:
This relates to any individual who reproduces software copies without being authorised to do so. Examples being:
- Purchasing one licensed copy of software and then installing it on multiple computers
- Copying disks with the intention of using them for installation purposes or for distribution
- Using upgrade offers on the software concerned without having purchased a legal version
- Disk swapping – Common examples being either in an office environment or in social circles
Overuse of Client-Server packages:
Copyright software comes with licenses that clearly indicate how many users are allowed to access the copy purchased. If more users than stipulated are using the program then this is classed as “overuse” and is illegal.
A common example of this relates to Local Area Network (LAN) connectivity and usage. When software is installed on a LAN server and access is given to more users than the software indicates this is illegal.
Selling new computers is a very competitive arena. This leads some unscrupulous businesses to load the hard disks of new machines with illegal copies of software. The cost to them is minimal which means “discounts” can be given. This obviously makes any such purchase quite attractive to an unsuspecting customer.
Reducing piracy on software you provide:
We have summarised the main types of software piracy to be aware of, but it must be made clear that there are severe challenges in preventing the software you legitimately create and market from being pirated.
Software Piracy is a multi-billion dollar “industry” and it is not going to simply disappear.
However, by availing of the services offered from a respected Anti-Piracy company like Onsist.com this will go a long way to reducing the threat and stemming losses from such illegal activity.
A company specialising in Anti-Piracy and Brand Protection has the tools and fully-qualified personnel to detect such illegal activity. They also have the ability to monitor sites offering illegal copies of your product. Once any illegal activity is flagged, effective action can be taken to ensure those concerned are dealt with accordingly.