Software Marketing Resource Articles: Piracy Policies and Statements

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Piracy Policies and Statements

Piracy in the software business is rampant, and happens in a variety of ways, from end users copying your software to large networks of cracks and warez sites.

End User Piracy

Using multiple copies of a single software package on several different systems or distributing copies of software to others.

Reseller Piracy
Reseller piracy occurs when an unscrupulous reseller distributes multiple copies of a single software package to different customers; this includes preloading systems with software without providing original manuals & diskettes. Reseller piracy also occurs when resellers knowingly sell counterfeit versions of software to unsuspecting customers. Indications of reseller piracy are multiple users with the same serial number, lack of original documentation or an incomplete set, and nonmatching documentation.

BBS/Internet Piracy
BBS/ Internet Piracy occurs when there is an electronic transfer of copyrighted software. If system operators and/or users upload or download copyrighted software and materials onto or from bulletin boards or the Internet for others to copy and use without the proper license.

Trademark/Trade Name Infringement
Infringement occurs when an individual or dealer claims to be authorized either as a technician, support provider or reseller, or is improperly using a trademark or trade name.

Effects of Piracy
When software is pirated, consumers, software developers, and resellers are harmed. When software is pirated the consumers run the risk of viruses, having corrupted diskettes and defective software. The consumer usually has inadequate documentation to enjoy the full benefits of the software package and is unable to take advantage of technical support and product upgrades, which are typically available to legitimate registered users of the software. When software is pirated, developers lose revenue not only from current products but from future ones as well. As software is sold, a portion of the revenue is funneled back into developing better software packages. When software is pirated, software developers lose revenue from the sale of their products, which hinders development of new software and stifles the growth of the software company.

Different Kinds of Software and What the Licensing/Terminology Means:
Beta Software - This is software that is in the testing stage of its development. Typically, the software developer allows individuals and organizations to preview new software in return for feedback on any problems encountered. Beta software usually has some bugs. In many cases this type of software is also covered by special licensing agreements that, in addition to standard terms of use, include a "non-disclosure agreement". The NDA prohibits discussion of the software and its capabilities.

Shareware or "Trial Software"
This is built on the concept of "try it before you buy it." A version of the software that is missing features or cannot be used more than a certain number of times or days is distributed freely. This gives the user the opportunity to try the software, and determine if it fits their needs.

As the name implies, this type of software is distributed freely, with no usage cost. Freeware does, however have licensing agreements that need to be followed.

Public Domain
With this type of software, the copyright holder has given up all rights to the software, allowing it to be freely copied and distributed. Unlike Freeware, public domain software can be modified or repackaged for sale.

To Report Piracy :
Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
To report Software Piracy (800)388-7478 1090
Vermont Ave, NW 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 289-7442 (voice)
(202) 289-7097 (fax)

Business Software Alliance
Hot Line 1-888-NO-PIRACY or email
18th Street NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
(202)872-5500 (voice)
(202)872-5501 (fax)

The Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST)
- (800)263-9700
PO Box 6272
Station A
Toronto, Ontario M5W1P7

The Association of Shareware Professionals
157-F Love Avenue
Greenwood IN
phone 317-888-2194
fax: 317-888-2195

Microsoft Antipiracy
Hot Line (800)R U LEGIT or email
Anti-Crack Resource

Anti-Crack Resource


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