Software Piracy is a kind of fraud when fake copies are produced and sold in such a way that they appear authentic. It is the illegal copying and distribution of commercial software on a CD or a DVD. These CD’s or DVD’s are accompanied with manuals that the original legitimate software was sold with. The pirated software is sold at prices much below the retail price of the original software.
There is a huge market for pirated software in India and consumers easily fall into the trap and think they are buying original software at dirt cheap prices. There is no dearth of people who intentionally buy pirated software to save money without knowing that it can cost them much more later on.
According to a study, 60% of Indian uses Pirated software of some kind. About 23% people admit that they intentionally use pirated software.
The pirated software users include students, home-makers, small businesses to large businesses. There are many big companies who use single license and run many machines with it.
There are two main reasons why people are comfortable using pirated software:
1. Cost – Who cares about the quality when you are getting the same version at less than half the price? Honestly, just a handful!
None of us wants to spend money on original software. We will always prefer buying laptop or computers and getting pirated software installed on it without even realising the negative consequences.
2. No Rules or Fine – Like other countries, India has no strict rules to control software piracy. People are just not afraid of the law and therefore continue using pirated versions. Also, there are no heavy damages or fines charged on using these.
The negative impact of using pirated software are:
1. Security threats – Pirated software often contains missing codes or malicious code and malware which can damage or corrupt your data or your system. Data once lost will be extremely difficult to recover. The pirated software will not be able to get regular security updates and will not be able to upgrade themselves with the growing computer viruses. It is seen that 90% of the pirated software gets affected with virus sooner or later.
2. Loss of revenue for government and owners – The fake or pirated software results in huge losses to owners and to the government. According to an estimate, Indian government loses around Rs4330 Crore every year in revenues due to software piracy. Purchasing from original sources and authorised dealers will earn them revenues, a part of which will be paid to the government as taxes. Purchasing pirated software will devoid everyone of having their shares.
3. Spyware – The pirated software is loaded with Spyware which can secretly threaten the privacy of your data and system. This spyware silently keeps sending confidential information, files and other data to spyware owners. Many spyware can steal your credit card details and carry out illegal transactions of money.
4. No security patch update – Whenever a company launches any new software, they regularly provide security patches or update for vulnerabilities. In case of pirated software, these fixes will not be installed and your system can get exposed to attack.
5. The Anti-piracy law – Selling or using counterfeit software is punishable under law. In India, a counterfeit software can land you in jail for minimum 7 days to 3 years. There is also a fine for up to 3 Lac rupees. A software owner can also file a separate case for damages.
If you wish to purchase software, do it only from authorised vendors or dealers. Nehru place market in New Delhi is a hub for buying and selling of fake and pirated versions of the original software. Buy only from trusted retailers and the real thing will always come with a guarantee or a warranty certificate and will save you from all malicious activities.