Computer piracy is when software gets copied without permission from the copyright holder. This means that the copyright holder (usually the one who makes the software) will not get any reward for his/her product. It is illegal to infringe the copyright law and can result in imprisonment and/or fines. There are five types of software piracy. These include: softlifting, hard disk loading, renting, downloading, and software counterfeiting.
Softlifting is when someone buys a single licensed copy of the software and loads it on several computers, contrary to the license. So if the program is loaded into friends and co-workers computers there will be a breach of the copyright. An exception can be made because the user has the right to make one backup copy for emergency use only.
Hard disk loading is then unauthorized copies of software are placed on the disk when you buy a new personal computer. This is a way for the computer dealers to sell a computer at a low price with an added value for their customers. The computer market is competitive and computer dealers try really hard to sell a PC that includes so much software and hardware as possible with a low price.
Renting is having software for temporary use. This means that I is illegal to rent software for a while and then give it back. I had always wondered how you could rent Nintendo and other games but no computer software, but that is because it is loaded on a computer no just put into a drive.
Downloading is where you connect VIA modem from your computer. As much of you know you can find just about any software you want to if you search the Internet. This is called pirated software (AKA Warez).
Unauthorized copyrighted software can easily spread this way.
Software counterfeiting is the illegal duplication of software. I think this branch of piracy is increasing because the CD rewritable drives now. It is nothing to put a windows 98 CD in and burn it to a blank CD. Sometimes it can be really difficult to determine whether the software is original or if it is an illegal copy. The documentation may look like the original but the money you pay for it never gets bak to the copyright holder.
Some instances of piracy in my opinion are ok. I know many people who have borrowed a friends game or other software, and put it their computer. Not only is this ILLEGAL, but you get lack of tech support from the software maker, lack of upgrades, and get inadequate documentation.
Some people think software piracy is ok as long as the person they get it from doesn't gain a profit. Some people do it to save money or because they think "everyone else pirated software so why should I."
Because of software piracy software companies lose billions of dollars so they raise the price of the software. So I think piracy is just the consumers way of fighting back at the extreme prices.
I hope you have gained a knowledge of the different types of software piracy: softlifting, hard disk loading, renting, downloading, and software counterfeiting. Software piracy is illegal and can have serious consequences.