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What is Piracy
Piracy is the unauthorized distribution of software and physical objects such as DVDs. People sometimes pirate for commercial gain. Piracy is extremely common and is illegal because it violates a product’s End User License Agreement.
Types of Piracy
The two types of piracy include software piracy and physical piracy. Software piracy can be separated into:
- Softlifting which is installing software multiple times with a single license
- Counterfeiting and internet piracy which involves duplicating commercial software
- Hard-disk loading refers to software being loaded onto new computers for free
Physical piracy can be categorized as:
- Bootlegs which are illegal recordings of live performances that are sold without consent
- Audio/Video piracy which is the act of burning mp3s and movies on CDs to sell
- Computer piracy is the same as audio/video, but applies to computer software
Why Does Piracy Occur?
Piracy occurs because it is a convenient and cheap method to obtain items, and there is almost no chance for repercussions.
People partake in piracy as a job for the extreme profit they will make with practically no effort.
The Effects of Piracy
Piracy plagues developers and companies by severely reducing their revenue. Companies will not make enough money to pay for the development costs of their product, resulting in bankruptcy and job deprivation.
How to Prevent Piracy
There is no way to fully prevent piracy from occurring because there is always some guy out there that can and will do it. However, there are a few methods developers use to lessen piracy. They use:
- Code keys which prevent softlifting because people need to enter a unique combination of numbers they receive upon purchase to activate the software. After use the code locks itself and cannot be used ever again
- Anti-Piracy software is free software that developers use to prevent illegal duplication of their product by giving attempts to do so errors.
Piracy has created a reputation for being a blessing for consumers and a curse for companies. The unauthorized distribution and usage of illegal duplicates are increasing immensely, and the opposing law enforcers are fighting a losing battle.
Introduction to Piracy
For those who think that piracy dictates the act of pirates sailing across the Caribbean on a giant vessel, they’re gravely mistaken. There is an alternate form of piracy which is indubitably more massive and arguably more threatening than men wearing eye patches. Piracy is the unauthorized distribution or usage of software without consent from the owner (IMI). This illegal act is performed daily and is a substantial detriment to companies around the world.
What is Piracy?
The term “piracy” is largely used to describe the deliberate copyright infringement of software and sometimes even physical objects such as paintings or DVDs (IFPI). In layman’s terms, piracy is basically a form of theft. There are circumstances when people pirate for commercial gain and it is often recognized as an illegal but very profitable business. Other times people distribute software for free on the internet via popular torrent websites such as thepiratebay.se without legal authorization. Piracy is extremely common and it presumably occurs several thousand times per day considering pirated objects and software are relatively easy to obtain; not to mention that they are cheaper than the legal method. One of the most commonly pirated software to date is Adobe Photoshop because of the sheer $700 price point that people aren’t willing to pay, especially when they can access a duplicate for free!
The reason why piracy is illegal is because the distribution of unauthenticated copies of a product defies its END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT (Techtarget). Upon purchasing the product, the consumer automatically agrees to the terms within the license, which always includes a “no piracy rule” of some kind.
Types of Piracy
There are many forms of piracy that people take part in on a day to day basis. There is software piracy which is the act of stealing software without permission. The other type of piracy is physical piracy which is essentially the illegal duplication of physical objects such as DVDs, books, and magazines. However those categories can be broken down even further.
Software piracy is often separated into these categories: softlifting, counterfeiting and internet piracy, and hard-disk loading (GVRL).
- Softlifting involves installing software on multiple computers with only a single-user license and is the most common form of software piracy within companies.
- Counterfeiting and internet piracy are acts of piracy that involve the unauthorized duplication, distribution, or sale of commercial software such as Microsoft Office. However, internet piracy sells the duplicates on internet auction websites or torrent websites instead of malls.
- Hard-disk loading is when software is loaded onto newly sold computers for free
Physical piracy can be categorized as: bootlegs, audio/video piracy, and computer piracy (IFPI). Bootlegs are the illegal recordings of live performances that are sold without permission of the record company on DVDs. Audio/video piracy is the act of duplicating mp3s and movies and burning them onto CDs to sell. Computer piracy is quite similar to audio/video piracy; however it applies to computer games and software.
Why Does Piracy Occur?
There are several reasons why people choose to get involved in the illegal act of piracy. People decide to pirate objects such as games because of the convenience and the price point, not to mention that there is almost zero chance for repercussions. People can pirate at their leisure through torrent websites and doing so is absolutely free! Even if people go out to purchase pirated DVDs, they cost close to fifty cents per movie compared to the average ten to twenty dollars for a legal copy. On top of those benefits, people realize that there is virtually no chance of them getting caught in the act because piracy occurs every waking moment and is too common for law enforcers to keep track.
Additionally, there is speculation as to why people decide to partake in the piracy business as a job. People create piracy businesses solely for the extreme amount of profit they will make. The job is quite simplistic as well. All they need to do is download movies and songs from websites like thepiratebay.se and burn them onto disks. Since so many people are interested in obtaining these items for a low price, the owner of the pirated store will become rich without much effort.
The Effects of Piracy
Piracy has been and will continue to be one the major issues that plague developers and companies. Pirating movies, songs, and video games affect many businesses negatively and pulls their revenue down like a domino effect (Tadeo). Due to the fact that purchasing pirated stuff costs next to nothing compared to the legitimate versions, people invest their money in piracy. However doing so causes companies to lose money and some smaller companies could potentially become bankrupt through piracy. Producing products come at a high cost because companies need to hire staff and create advertisements for their product. If people do not support the companies by purchasing their products legitimately, companies won’t even make enough revenue to pay for the development costs! People will lose their jobs and the company will not receive the money they deserve for their hard work.
How to Prevent Piracy
Obviously piracy is a big issue in our world today. There are a few methods to somewhat prevent piracy from occurring. However piracy can never be “one hundred percent” prevented because there will always be some guy working out the schematics in order to pirate items. Piracy can only be lessened. In order to lessen piracy, some software developers create code keys and implement anti-piracy software in their products (HTDT). Code keys prevent softlifting because people need to enter a unique combination of numbers they receive upon purchase to activate the software. After use the code locks itself and cannot be used ever again. Anti-piracy software is free software that developers use to prevent illegal duplication. Sometimes anti-piracy software is integrated onto disks to prevent music and video duplication because attempts to do so will receive copyright errors.
All in all, piracy has become quite reputable in its benefits for consumers and detriments for companies and developers. There are a variety of ways people choose to pirate, and they all have their reasons for doing so. People are losing jobs and companies are becoming bankrupt due to the amount of piracy in our world. Even anti-piracy software and code keys cannot fully keep the pirates at bay. Violating a product’s End User License Agreement is no threat to pirates because they still have practically no chance for repercussions. The unauthorized distribution and usage of illegal duplicates are rampant, profits are being made, and we’re left almost helpless to fight against them. The law is fighting a losing battle as the population of pirates are growing to seize the free movies and games.
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