Piracy

Piracy refers to the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted content that is then sold at substantially lower prices in the ‘grey’ market. The ease of access to technology has meant that over the years, piracy has become more rampant. For example, CD writers are available off the shelf at very low prices, making music piracy a simple affair.
Many laws have been made to prevent privacy. Internationally, the laws for punishing piracy in developed countries are stringent and punitive in nature. In Asian countries and more in India too, it does not get the attention at the national level due to more engaging issues at hand. However, the industry, especially the IT and music industry, has been taking an active interest in stemming the rot. These organizations identify sources of music piracy and then conduct raids with the help of the police. However, convictions are few and the penalties are not harsh enough to act as a deterrent. Piracy is done in many ways like video piracy, cable piracy, and DVD/CD piracy. Video piracy takes place when a film is produced in the form of a video cassette without proper authorization from the right holder i.e. the producer. Often, film producers sell video rights to another party (generally after six weeks or more of release in theatres), which makes video cassettes for selling, or lending.

Types of Piracy

Counterfeiting

This type of piracy is the illegal duplication, distribution, or sale of copyrighted material with the intent of imitating the copyrighted product. In the case of packaged software, it is common to find counterfeit copies of the compact discs incorporating the software programs, as well as related packaging, manuals, license agreements, labels, registration cards, and security features.

Internet Piracy

This occurs when unauthorized software is downloaded from the Internet. The same purchasing rules apply to online software purchases as for those bought in compact disc format. Common Internet piracy techniques are:

  • Websites that make software available for free download or in exchange for others
  • Internet auction sites that offer counterfeit or out-of-channel software
  • Peer-to-peer networks that enable unauthorized transfer of copyrighted programs

End-User Piracy

This occurs when an individual reproduces copies of software without authorization. These include:

  • Using one licensed copy to install a program on multiple computers
  • Copying discs for installation or distribution
  • Taking advantage of upgrade offers without having a legal copy of the version to be upgraded
  • Acquiring academic or other restricted or non-retail software without a proper license
  • Swapping discs in or outside the workplace

Client-Server Overuse

This type of piracy occurs when too many users on a network are using a central copy of a program at the same time. If you have a local-area network and install programs on the server for several people to use, you have to be sure your license entitles you to do so. If you have more users than allowed by the license, that’s “overuse”.

Hard-Disk Loading

This occurs when a business sells new computers with illegal copies of software loaded onto the hard disks to make the purchase of the machines more attractive.