Computer software piracy considered an unauthorized action copying paid software without paying for it according to Your Dictionary. The modern software requires purchasing code to activate the services, but hackers can modify, and eliminate activation code to run the software. In the age of the internet, file sharing became the best place to share illegal software, making the computer piracy increased significantly at an unprecedented rate despite the ratio is pulling down in recent years. According to Revulytics, about 39 percent of PC’s around the world was not properly licensed. So, what are the effects of computer piracy
The value of the unlicensed computer is worth billions of dollar. Distinctive regulations among the country mean not software piracy is inevitable. However, the developer still trying to encourage people purchasing original software instead of downloading from an unauthorized source. If you realize the disadvantages of pirated software, you should be watchful about security concern regarding that.
Computer piracy is not only hurt software ecosystem but also dangerous for people who use it. Here are the breakdown 5 dangerous effects of computer piracy.
#1 The Pirated software is unsafe
Pirated computer software in general, spread through the file sharing system, from one user to another. First, since the file is downloaded from unofficial sources, no one can assure that the file is totally safe. A hacker probably was injecting their backdoor program into the pirated software to infiltrate user. From there, they can steal tons of sensitive information, such as credit card and username/password.
Remember when the pirated software requires you to turning off antivirus? That makes the computer more vulnerable to viruses and unsafe program. Even worse, malware can spread to other devices through removable media such as flash drive. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) suggest that pirated software might be laced with malicious software.
#2 Hurting software ecosystem
Software companies making great-useful software to gain profit and sustain their business. In order to achieve the target, they hire dozens of a developer to ensure the product will fulfill consumers demand. But when the consumer chooses a pirated version instead of purchasing original one, the company will struggle to attain their targets. And that’s not a healthy business ecosystem.
Do you remember when THQ going to bankrupt back in 2013? It’s not because they fail to design fascinating video games, but their consumer just doesn’t buy the product. Hence, the developer is out of the funding and no longer capable to produce new games.
#3 Original software price increased significantly
But what was the correlation between piracy and price? Put simply, the software company needs to reach as much consumer as possible and get profit. Since we know that not all people will buy original software, the developer has to increase product’s price in order to cover ‘not paying’ customer.
Take the example, one small developer wanted to make $100 on their software. At the same time, there are 100 potential customers over there. We can assume that every single license would be priced as little as $1. However, if the customer who reaches out their wallet for software is just 20 people, the developer will mark up the price at least $5 to offset the profit.
That was also the reason why software price is always higher than the computer’s hardware itself.
#4 No support and update from developer
Since the user not purchasing the software in a legal way, they are absolute will not receive any supports or future update of the software. Pirated software usually outdated compared to the original one. This means the features inside it might not relevant to the current demand. Also, some minor updates responsible to fix bugs, improve performance and stability, along with other little improvements.
When the pirated program gets crash or occurs some error, the user should fix the problem themselves. When new major upgrade has gone up, they could uninstall the previous version, and download the new (pirated) software again. Not saying more encounter security risk when downloading an illegal program.
#5 You might get fined or even jail
Various risk and disadvantages once you decide to download illegal software. But, the danger doesn’t stop there. Violators might face legal suit as pirated software regarded as illegal activity. In the US for example, copyright infringements can be punishable by up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. That was enough money to learn some skills in college and graduated.
Computer piracy is intellectual property theft, which considered as a criminal offense. The law is applied both individual and organizational entity. For the business-level, the fines are even higher rather than purchasing dozens of an original software license. An architectural model maker from Brisbane, Sosan paid $18.000 for using pirated version Autodesk while the actual price was far lower.
How to get original software for free or least price
As mentioned before, the average price of the single license original software was pretty high and the number still ongoing to rise. Luckily, there’s still a big opportunity claiming official software with the cheapest cost or even free. Check out following ideas that probably will useful.
- Use a freeware software, sites like FileHippo, Softpedia, and Gamejolt providing free software and games that you can legally download.
- See if the paid software maker has a trial, whether it’s a time-based trial or limited-features version of the software.
- Join the software’s newsletter, it usually offering a discount price for the customer.
- Buy software when there is a special off, which commonly happens when celebrating an important day, such as Thanksgiving.
- Pick a hardware with bundled software, for example, a notebook with Windows 10 as the default operating system.
Using pirated software not only dangerous for computer, broke the copyright law, and hurting software ecosystem, but also lead to embarrassment for people who use it. There are many negative effects out there from using illegal software, if you have any idea, don’t hesitate to give a comment.