If you download and use a great deal of software either for your personal use or for your business, you may have heard of pirated software. This term does not refer to a specific type of software, but rather how people get and use software. Unless the software is open source, which means it can be used and distributed freely, the manufacturer has the right to set the boundaries and guidelines for the use of its software product. With that kept in mind, realize that any time software is not distributed with the manufacturer’s approval and authorization, it is illegal. It is pirated software.
What you may not realize is just how easy it is for software to be pirated. One of the most common ways that this happens is when a person makes copies of software and distributes them. If you purchase and download a type of software from a company and then make a copy of that software to place on a second computer, that, too, is a pirated product.
You do not have to buy the product to have a fraudulent copy. It is also important to note that you can get into legal trouble for having such copies. Pirated software falls under the category of copyright infringement. You may face hefty fines or even jail time if you do sell or buy pirated products.
If you buy a great deal of software, know where you are getting the products from, especially if the products are very inexpensive. If you are unsure of the manufacturer, do some research before investing in it. The warranties and guarantees these products offer, including what the software contains and does not contain, will not hold true in situations where the product is pirated. The more you know about these products before you buy, the better.