TMCnet Feature
August 03, 2020

The State of Software Piracy in 2020



Software piracy
is the unauthorized copying of software by an individual who does not own it, violating the copyright. Contemporarily, software piracy has become a global concern in the IT industry. It does not require a skilled coder or hacker; any person owning a computer can be a software pirate. Many "pirates" do not understand software laws. Instances of software piracy include selling or distributing someone's software for free, modifying, and copying the software.



Copyright laws exist to provide compensation and credit to the people who labor to create amazing software. When people use programs without paying for them, the developers lose revenue. Software piracy is a federal crime, and it can lead to huge fines according to copyright violation. 

Software developers, authors, and end-users sign the End-User License Agreement (EULA), which states the rules and agreements for software use. Every EULA prohibits the end-users from copying, modifying, and sharing the software with other users.

There are various types of software piracy, including counterfeiting, online piracy, hard disk loading, soft lifting, and client-server overuse.

What is the Current State of Software Piracy?

The information technology industry is dynamic and rapidly growing. Following the advances in technology, software developers can develop software that meets the needs and expectations of end-users. However, hackers are also changing their tactics and improving their hacking skills to copy and sell pirated software. In this case, the implication is that software piracy is still going on at a high rate. Software developers need to respond to this threat to gain full credit and compensation for their work.

An increase in the level of technology increases the cases of unauthorized distribution of copyright software, given that the knowledge and skills concerning the techniques are available. Countries with weak technological bases have low occurrences of software piracy. According to the Global Software Survey, the U.S., India, and China have the highest cases of software piracy.

How Piracy Affects the Economy

As we have previously reported, piracy is approximately a $63 billion a year problem. An increase in software policy decreases the need for software developer professionals. Experts state that reducing software piracy can increase the number of jobs and generate revenue. 

Software development companies earn revenue when the software is licensed and sold. Nations with high software piracy rates have recorded a low economic development rate over the past few years.

Businesses are the backbone of a capitalist economy. However, following software copyright infringement, most organizations have been sued due to counterfeit software. Hackers sell unauthorized software to companies hence leading to negative publicity and financial loss. Firms must ensure that they use authentic and licensed software.

How Piracy Affects the Software Industry

Software piracy has contributed to considerable losses in the software industry, as it affects profitability. This profitability is what drives innovation, and so it could be said that more piracy equals less innovative software. Following such loss, software developers and publishers do not have adequate resources to research and develop new software. In addition to that, software development firms have less revenue due to reduced prices to raise funds to cater to resources. Developers need to develop approaches to protect their income and reduce software piracy.

Tips for Preventing Software Piracy

One of the first ways to help prevent piracy is by creating awareness. If you run a business, ensure that you create and distribute software policy statements to your staff. Include the anti-piracy statement and let the employees sign. Further, allow all employees to learn about the software licenses that the firm owns. You should also conduct regular software audits to make sure that employees aren't using hacked programs.

On the development side of the table, various types of anti-piracy software are available for purchase or free. They aim at preventing unauthorized copying and use of the software. One such example is called Pace AP, and it provides publishers maximum protection for their software by hindering hackers from getting into the software and duplicating it without your consent. 

A hardware key is an anti-piracy device that prevents software vendors from using and distributing software with your authority. The hardware key is attached to the computer using it, and it manages and monitors software licensing of particular software. The key will reduce the incidences of software vendors from unauthorized use. 


 



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