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May 5, 2011

Software Piracy

The unauthorized copying of software is called Software Piracy. Most retail programs are licensed for use at just one computer site or for use by only one user at any time. By buying the software, you become a licensed user rather than an owner. You are allowed to make copies of the program for backup purposes, but it is against the law to give copies to friends and colleagues.

Software piracy is all but impossible to stop, although software companies are launching more and more lawsuits against major infractors. Originally, software companies tried to stop software piracy by copy-protecting their software. This strategy failed, however, because it was inconvenient for users and was not 100 percent foolproof. Most software now requires some sort of registration, which may discourage would-be pirates, but doesn't really stop software piracy.

Some common types of software piracy include counterfeit software, OEM unbundling, softlifting, hard disk loading, corporate software piracy, and Internet software piracy.

An entirely different approach to software piracy, called shareware, acknowledges the futility of trying to stop people from copying software and instead relies on people's honesty. Shareware publishers encourage users to give copies of programs to friends and colleagues but ask everyone who uses a program regularly to pay a registration fee to the program's author directly.

Counterfeit software
A type of software piracy that occurs when fake copies of software are produced in such a way that they appear to be authentic. Counterfeit software would include the illegal copying and distribution of commercial software on CD or DVD along with any accompanying manuals that the original legitimate software was sold with. Counterfeit software is commonly produced using a CD burner to copy the software and photocopies are made of the manual. Counterfeit software is usually sold at prices well below that of the retail price of the legitimate software.

OEM Unbundling
Often called OEM piracy or just unbundling, OEM unbundling is a type of software piracy that occurs when OEM (An Original Equipment Manufacturer, manufactures products or components that are purchased by a company and retailed under that purchasing company's brand name.) -packaged software is separated from the hardware it originally came bundled with, at the OEM or retail level of sale. The software is clearly marked, usually with the phrase "For Distribution with New PC Hardware Only", and the act of piracy occurs when the software is installed on another computer system.

Softlifting
A type of software piracy that occurs when users share their software with other users who are not authorized to have access by the End-User License Agreement .

The most common type of softlifting occurs when a person does legitimately purchase software but installs it onto multiple computers which is a violation of the licensing agreement. Softlifting may also be called softloading or end-user piracy.


Hard disk loading
A type of software piracy that occurs when hardware dealers; brick-and-mortar or Internet vendors, install an unauthorized copy of commercial software onto a computer system. In many cases consumers will not receive any manuals or original CD of the software but the hardware dealer may charge for the illegal software in the total system purchase price. The end-user, or the purchaser in this case, will then use the computer system with pirated software, often not realizing that the software that was pre-installed on the computer system is not legitimate. This type of piracy is most common with operating systems, especially older Microsoft branded operating systems such as Windows 95 and Windows 98. Public awareness along with requiring users to activate or register their products has helped software manufactures deal with hard disk loading piracy.

Corporate software piracy
A type of software piracy that occurs when corporations underreport the number of software installations acquired through volume purchase agreements. Corporate software policy may also be an offence when software is installed on a server with unrestricted staff access. May also be called corporate end-user piracy.

Internet software piracy
A type of software piracy that occurs when software, which is illegally obtained through Internet channels, usually through peer-to-peer file sharing systems or downloaded from pirate Web sites that make software available for download for free or in exchange for users who uploaded software. Internet software piracy also includes the sale of counterfeit software on Internet auction and classified ads Web sites. Counterfeit software with de-activate the copy-protection that can be obtained through Internet channels is called warez.

Commercial software that has been pirated and made available to the public via Internet. Typically, the pirate has figured out a way to de-activate the copy-protection or registration scheme used by the software. Note that the use and distribution of warez software is illegal. In contrast, shareware and freeware may be freely copied and distributed.

Shareware (Trailware/Demoware)
Software distributed on the basis of an honor system. Most shareware is delivered free of charge, but the author usually requests that you pay a small fee if you like the program and use it regularly. By sending the small fee, you become registered with the producer so that you can receive service assistance and updates. You can copy shareware and pass it along to friends and colleagues, but they too are expected to pay a fee if they use the product.

Shareware is inexpensive because it is usually produced by a single programmer and is offered directly to customers. Thus, there are practically no packaging or advertising expenses.

Freeware:
Copyrighted software given away for free by the author. Although it is available for free, the author retains the copyright, which means that you cannot do anything with it that is not expressly allowed by the author. Usually, the author allows people to use the software, but not sell it.

Many people complain of the high costs of the many software programs available for personal computers. In an attempt to offset some of these costs, an increasing number of people are relying on freeware. Freeware is software that can be downloaded from the Internet and installed on your computer in order to provide certain functionality for the end-user. Using freeware does indeed provide some advantages, as well as some risks, for the end user.

Before downloading any type of freeware, you should research consumer magazines and websites for customer reviews, as well as industry insider information related to the particular software you want to download and use. You should only download software programs with lots of positive recognition from both the industry and from the consumer.

When downloading freeware from the Internet, you should always follow the installation wizard and use the typical or recommended installation option. Using the Typical or Recommended installation option generally will install all of the files that you need in order to get the most functionality from the software program.When you download freeware from the Internet, A user guide is usually included with the program. Before you use the freeware program, it is always a good idea to read the user guide and print out a hard copy of the user guide that you can use for reference if you encounter problems with the freeware program. One of the primary advantages in using Freeware from the Internet is that the software generally comes only with the files you need in order to use the program. This will not provide you with any extra functionality as with other expensive forms of software; however, it will help to save space on your hard drive, and will help to make the best use of your available system memory.

One of the primary disadvantages of using Freeware from the internet is the increased potential for your computer to become infected with spyware.

Freeware can save you money, however, if you are going to use freeware, also be sure that you have installed a good anti spyware program on your computer. Before using freeware, be sure to research the product, read the instruction manuals before using the product, be sure that you protect your computer with anti-spyware programs, and install the freeware program using the typical settings.
While installing freeware, ensure that you choose the installation settings properly. Unwanted toolbars etc should not be installed.

Some freewares pretending to check updates frequently connects to Programmers site. Some will auto start when system starts, You don’t have option to disable this auto start. Such freewares to be completely ignored and never install in your system.

Adware:
Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer. These advertisements can be in the form of a pop-up.The object of the Adware is to generate revenue for its author. Adware, by itself, is harmless; however, some adware may come with integrated spyware such as keyloggers and other privacy-invasive software.

In many blogs, sites many trialwares / Sharewares are converted to full version and available for download. But these softwares are decompiled and the codes are altered to delete the restrictions made by the original Programmer. On the one hand the act itself is illegal. On the other hand the cracked software may contain malicious code to hack your system. Please keep away yourself from such converted full version softwares.

KeyGens:
keygen is a computer program that generates a product licensing key, serial number, or some other registration information necessary to activate for use a software application.
Keygens are available for download on various websites dedicated to bypassing of product registration and activation, or to software piracy in general. This act is illegal.
Running Keygen software may corrupt the registry entries and keep your system open to the attack of hackers. If you have not installed a good up to dated Anti virus package, the mal acts of Keygens may not be noticed by you till it becomes too late.

-Shivaram

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