You are on page 1of 22

According to Section 2 of the Copyright Act, a computer program is a set of instructions expressed in words, codes, schemes or in any other

form, including a machine readable medium, capable of causing a computer to perform a particular task or achieve a particular results.

What is a Software or Program

According to Section 14 of the Copyright Act, "copyright" means the exclusive right to do or authorize the doing of any of the following:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

To reproduce in any material form To issue copies to the public To make any translation To make any adaptation To sell, give on hire, offer for sale, or offer for hire

What is Copyright?

The society doesnt really treat software piracy like other kinds of theft because nothing is physically taken away. There is no immediate effect on the inventory or productive capacity of the programmer. Only copies of the disk or other storage medium are made and the legal owner is still in possession of the software.


It is copying and use of software without proper license from the developer. It is simultaneous use of single user license software by multiple users It is loading of a single user license software at multiple sites Using trial version software for commercial gain It is installing an pirated software to do your work and then delete this software from the machine

What is Software Piracy?

By using legal licensed software, it is ensured that critical updates are available when needed, that the products are fully supported, reliable and above all it is legal. There are Four primary ways to legally obtain a software license : 1. 2. 3. 4. Purchasing a new PC equipped with OEM software and equipment. Purchasing products off the shelf "from a certified retailer. Signing a License Agreement online. Buying a software as a service.

Why should we buy license:

OFFICE COPYING- office software is often illegally copied into the home computer of an employee or vice-versa. NETWORKING PIRACY- Software piracy often occurs on computer networks when a software program is accessed by more users than what a license permits

Types of software piracy

INTERNET PIRACY- Software programs are placed by third parties on the Internet for downloads free of charge or for a fee. HARDWARE SELLERS- Computer dealers pre-installing illegal copies of software onto PCs prior to sale. Some dealers use one legally acquired copy but install it on many machines

Types of software piracy

Counterfeiters try to fool the consumers by selling duplicate software's. The purchasers feel that they have bought a legitimate product in the sense that the packaging and manuals look like original products.


Unauthorized downloading of software over the Internet. Use of the Internet either to market or distribute copyrighted software programs Pirate websites, online auction sites Email, IRC, News Groups and FTP-facilitates internet piracy.

Internet Piracy

Anti-piracy cell of the Kerala Police registered cases against 1,010 Internet users for uploading or downloading the Malayalam film Bachelor Party . Internet users argue the Copyright Act, 1957, has given wide exception to those who disseminate copyright works for personal and private use.

Internet Piracy Case in India

Legal puritans quote the same 1957 law and the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, to argue that the State police have not done anything wrong Section 66 of the IT Act, 2000 says a hacker, if found guilty, can get three years imprisonment, a fine up to Rs.2 lakh, or even both.

Section 43 of the same statute prescribes that a hacker may have to cough up Rs.1 crore in compensation in case of damage to the computer system.

Loading of illegal copies of software onto the hard disks.

Most common with operating systems, especially older Microsoft branded operating systems such as Windows 95 and Windows 98. The end-user is often unaware that the pre-installed software is illegitimate.

Hardware Installation

A computer manufacturer uses one licensed copy of software and illegally installs it on more than one computer
The consumers should check for proper license documentation when purchasing a new PC

Pre installed Software Piracy:

When a software is installed on the server for simultaneous use by several people over the network.

Client-Server license Overuse :

Computer software industry - great business success story in the recent past

Potential threat to its future

Leads to lay offs within the software and related industries No contribution to the growth of the economy These profits may be funding additional illegal businesses Commercial value of pirated software market climbed from $58.8 billion in 2010 to $63.4 billion in 2011 Loss of tax revenue to the government and wrath of the IT industry etc.

Software Piracy an Economic Offence:

The amendments to the Copyright Act in 1994 included the definition of Computer Programs and Computer Databases The Copyright (Amendment) Act 1994, clearly explains the rights of copyright holder, position on rentals of software, the rights of the user to make backup copies and the heavy punishment and fines for infringements on copyrighted software

Legal aspects of software piracy

According to Section 63 of the Act, there is a minimum jail term of 6 months for copyright infringement. The section also provides for fines up to Rs` 2,00,000 and jail term up to three years or both. Any person or company who indulges in unauthorized copying, sale, downloading or loading of software is punishable under this section. Section 63-B of Copyright Act is applicable against those who knowingly use infringing copies of computer programs. Any person, individual or company, using pirated software is liable under this section. Section 64 of the Copyright Act empowers any police officer of the rank of Sub Inspector or above to seize without warrant infringing copies as well as the material that is being used for the purpose of making such copies.

Those accused who are indulging in software counterfeiting are doing it in an organized manner by conspiring with each other to cheat both the government in general and copyright owner as well as the public in particular, hence they are liable for prosecution under Section 120 B r/w 420 IPC.

Acts and Punishments

A counterfeit product is basically a forged electronic document prepared for the purpose of cheating and it is also sold to the public as genuine, hence the counterfeiters are punishable under Sections 46 8 and 471 IPC.

Acts and Punishments

Pirate websites on internet which make software available for free download or in exchange for uploaded programs. Online auction sites which offer counterfeit or infringing copyright software. The webmasters of these websites are punishable under Section 120B IPC r/w Sec 63 of Copyright Act as they are part of the conspiracy by way of abetting copyright violations and enabling people to gain access to copyrighted software. Those people who are abetting infringement (like the webmasters & the illegal replicators) as well as those who are using pirated software are doing so knowing fully well that they are causing wrongful loss or damage to the copyrighted owner.

They are also diminishing the value of such software by making illegal copies. All such people are committing offences under Section 66 of Information Technology Act, 2000 and are therefore punishable under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.

Acts and Punishments

Apart from prosecution under Section 66 of IT Act, 2000, all the accused who are providing assistance to any person to facilitate access or those who are illegally downloading/copying/extracting software are also liable to pay damages to the affected party per section 43 of the IT Act, 2000. The Modus Operandi like Client-Server overuse, Hard-disk loading, Pre-installed software and Enduser piracy are generally adopted by companies or firms or by an association of individuals. In such cases the company/firm as well as its in charge are liable under section 85 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The counterfeit products which are replicated & packaged abroad are illegally brought into India through various seaports and airports, hence Section 132 of Customs Act can be applied against such importers.

Acts and Punishments - firms