How To Stop Software Pirates And Pirating: Your Role In Making Software Better

Software licensing exists for the purpose of protecting the companies that develop it and to protect users/consumers that purchase it. Just like pirated movies and "shared" music, however, software is also pirated. It has a negative impact on software companies and developers to the point that they have to further restrict who can use software and how many people or devices can use the software made in a single purchase. If you want to help stop software pirates, here is what to look for and how to report it so that software use and consumption is better for everyone else.

People Who Tell You That They Can Fix Your Software Issues

Techies are nice to have as friends because they know how to spot malware, viruses, trojans, worms, etc. on your computer and help you remove it. Yet any techie that tells you that he/she can "fix" problems with software programs is sketchy at best. Ask them how they intend to do that and what their help will cost.

If they say "free" and "download" in the same sentence or explanation, ask them to explain it in detail. If it sounds illegal or sounds as though they are pirating software, run. Record who it is and where they live. Save this information until you talk to a business lawyer, and then report them.

People Who Have the Words, "Service Pack" or "This Is Not a Legitimate Copy of..." on Their Computer Screens

If you ask to borrow someone's computer or laptop and there are strange descriptors or warning messages on the screen, you should be very suspicious. A software company's name followed by "Service Pack" on the screen indicates a stolen copy that was "shared" on a software piracy site. Pop-up warnings that state "This is not a legitimate copy of x, y, z..." means that the computer has tried to update said software only to have the company that owns that software detect the fraud and send a message back to that computer to alert the owner of the computer that something is off. Either way, ask this acquaintance what is wrong, and then if he/she says he/she used an unofficial copy of software, record the person's name and address and where online he/she got the copy.

Reporting These Software Thefts, Piracy, and Misappropriation

Talk to a business lawyer that knows all about software piracy. He/she will tell you where and how to report it. Then report it.