You Can Go To Jail For Software Piracy – Why Would You Do It?

There are many ways for a thief to perform his or her trade. In past decades, there were limited ways for thieves to steal. Most of them have perfected their craft with little chance of getting caught. However, with the ever-evolving Internet, thieves have a whole new venue for them to choose from. The latest product to come under the attack of theft is Software. With all of the software that is available and that is being developed, all a software pirate has to do is “choose” the software that they want from the Internet.

Software Piracy has been on the rise in recent years because of the cost that is associated with the software itself; however, it is the business and programmers who suffer the most from software piracy.

All software comes with a licensing agreement that the end user must agree to before they are allowed to use the software. These agreements are legal and binding and are usually only meant for the person who has purchased the software. However, even though the person agrees to this, they end up sharing the software with friends and family and sometimes even with their co-workers. When this occurs, it is considered software piracy. Although it is on a very small scale, it is still stealing.

Perhaps you and your co-workers are not aware of the consequences of sharing software files. In recent news stories, software piracy has become the focal point for many lawmakers. New laws have been passed that make fines for software piracy steep and jail time is a real possibility for those who continue to pirate software. The person who gets a hold of that software and turns around and sells it as bootleg certainly understands the penalty for getting caught. However, the temptation to make a lot of money for very little work proves to be too much for some to pass up.

Schools throughout the country and the world use commercial software and shareware. Most schools are eligible for discounts on software that allows their students to research their subjects. Freeware and Open Source software are also available to schools throughout the world, and this type of software is also vulnerable to software piracy. One way to reduce this particular piracy risk is to use older versions of the software.

Consumers have never had a high opinion of freeware or Open Source software. They have always felt that these products were lacking in performance and were very low quality. They are so wrong. In recent years, with the upgrades that have been developed, the quality of freeware has increased dramatically. The quality has increased so much, that the commercial software corporations have begun to take notice and protest that they are loosing money due to the freeware that is being developed.

When you are looking for software, it is important that you research all of your possibilities. There are literally thousands of programs both commercial and freeware, however it is important that you read and understand the licensing agreement before you accept it. It is a legal and binding agreement, and the consequences of breaking that agreement are also very real. It is also not necessary to commit software piracy, rather use the freely available Open Source products.

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Stop SOPA
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Image by DrCuervo
There are 2 bills before Congress, Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) and Protect IP (PIPA) that are supposed to end online piracy. But these bill go WAY too far. All it would take is ONE LINK on ANY website and that site could be shut down from the outside.
For more info on SOPA and PIPA visit fightforthefuture.org/pipa/
Contact your representative and tell them to DO NOT PASS THESE BILLS.

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