Software piracy is the copying, selling, or installing and using a software product wherein the software developer was not compensated for the product.
The negative effects of software piracy are not only against the manufacturer or developer of the software, but also the reseller and the consumer. There is an increased risk of a user’s computer becoming infected with a virus or other type of malware and if the end user gets caught with the software on their computer they can be fined serious amounts of money and even do jail time. The sad thing is that most consumers who purchase pirated software don’t know it is pirated and are totally innocent but the law doesn’t see it that way.
Also, the reseller may not know the software is pirated because he purchased it from a source that he thought was on the up and up but nevertheless he could be punished severely via fines and jail time also.
There are many websites offering cheap software at ridiculously low prices and they should be checked out thoroughly before purchasing from them, especially if they are offering OEM software or downloads of software that are not downloaded directly from the company owning the software.
In other words, if you download Intuit software you can only do that legally from Intuit directly, not another source.
One way to check to see if a company or website is on the up and up is to do a Whois search on their domain name. Simply go to whois.com and then click on the link that says “whois lookup.” Then you can put in the domain name in question and check out who owns it and where it is hosted. If it is hosted in a country that doesn’t have laws against software piracy, such as Russia, then you should run the other way.
In fact if the software in question is manufactured in the USA then I would only buy from a US based website.
Another way to know whether or not the software has been pirated is if the website says something like, “because of the cheap price you will not get technical support” from the manufacturer. Any time you are buying legal versions of software you will get technical support, even if the software is sold at a huge discount. The only time you can legally buy software that doesn’t get tech support is if you buy the software from someone that used it but doesn’t want it any more or an OEM version that came with a product such as a computer and the person didn’t want or need it.
For example, if you bought a computer and it came with an OEM anti-virus software CD and you didn’t want it, you could sell it to a friend for whatever price you wanted and that would be perfectly legal. Also, if you had a program such as Adobe Photoshop 7 and you bought CorelDRAW X5 and didn’t want the Adobe program any longer, you could legally sell it to someone as long as you deactivated the program on your computer. You could then have Adobe reassign the license to the person who bought it from you at no charge. The person you sold it to would then get the full tech support that you got with the product.
I must say though, that you could not sell it on eBay. Adobe won’t allow it and neither will eBay, but you could sell it some other way. Adobe’s reason for not allowing it to be sold on eBay is because (I asked them personally that’s why I know) if you sell it through eBay then there would be more people involved in the transfer of license. But if you just sell it directly to someone yourself then the transfer of license would be simple and Adobe would be glad to oblige.