Types Of Software Piracy

Types Of Software Piracy

Before knowing the types of software piracy, at first, you should know what actually software piracy is.

Software Piracy: Piracy means stealing of an authorized product. So in that sense, software piracy means stealing of legally authorized software. Under copywrite law, software piracy occurs when copywrite protected software is being copied without the owner’s permission. Often these copies are distributed, modified or sold.


In this age of internet, software piracy has become more and more familiar to mass people. There are many types of software piracy method available on the internet today which makes it more easy to use a pirated software.


Here, I have listed 8 types of software piracy.

  • Softlifting
  • Hard Disk Loading
  • Renting
  • OEM unbundling
  • Counterfeiting
  • Online Piracy
  • Shareware
  • Corporate Software Piracy



The most common type of software piracy is softlifting. It is also known as softloading. It basically means sharing a program with others who are not authorized by the license agreement to use it.

There are many ways to do this kind of piracy. One of them is purchasing a single licensed copy of the software and then loading that software to other’s computers. It violates the licensing terms and condition.

Generally, in college campuses, it is so rare to find a software free from softlifting. They buy a single software and then share that software with the entire campus. And also, people lend this software to their roommates or friends without knowing that, this act is wrong.

Thus, softlifting is a common method of using software for free in both business and homes.


Hard Disk Loading

This type of piracy is done by the hardware dealers. They often load unauthorized software to their client’s hard disk. The clients are more attractive to this kind of piracy because they don’t have to install a CD by their own. All are done by the dealers.

Again the dealers don’t buy this software, what they do is softlifting. By softlifting, a great number of hardware dealers get access to highly paid software. To make their customers happy, they pass this highly paid software to there customers for free.



By the word renting, it is obvious that something like renting is involved here. So, by the method of renting anybody can rent software from the owner without being authorized by the software.

But they can do almost everything with that rented software. This type of act highly violate the terms and condition of software.


OEM Unbundling

Full form of OEM Unbundling is “Original Equipment Manufacturer Unbundling”. Original equipment manufacturers often sell equipment that comes with bundled software.

Unbundling is illegal as it is unauthorized use of the software according to the distribution license of the OEM equipment. Not always OEM Unbundling is considered as illegal.

But when retailers sell software standalone what were meant to be sold together then this act is considered as an illegal act. In the United States, OEM Unbundling is a great crime which can lead one to jail for five years and/or a $150,000 civil penalty fine. This fine can go up to $250,000 without a prison sentence.



Counterfeiting means producing fake copies of software. The producers of software try their best to give their product a genuine and original look.

So, they include box, CDs, and manuals to their copy product to look like the original product.  This act is common to Microsoft products. Because of their much spreading around the world, it has become nearly impossible to find someone who is selling and buying pirated products of their.

Counterfeiting software is sold on street corners, and sometimes unknowingly sold even in retail stores. The massive advantage of counterfeiting is that you get the exact service at far less price.


Online Piracy

The fastest growing form of piracy is Internet piracy. With the growing number of internet user worldwide, and rapidly increasing internet connection speeds, the exchange of software through the internet has attracted a massive amount of internet user.

In the past, BBS( Bulletin Board Systems) was the only place where people could download pirated software. But now, there are existing uncountable websites providing unlimited pirated software worldwide.  



Most shareware is delivered for free of cost, but the author or creator usually requests that you pay a small fee if you like the program and use it regularly.

By sending a small fee, anybody can become registered with the creator so that you can receive service assistance and updates. This shareware can be copied and passing it to friends and colleagues is possible. But those who are using this shareware are meant to pay a small fee to the creator.

Shareware is inexpensive because it is usually created by a single programmer and is distributed to the costumes. And there are no packaging and advertising expenses.


Corporate Software Piracy

This is a type of software piracy that occurs when corporations underreport the number of software installations acquired through volume purchase agreements.

Corporate software policy may also be an offense when the software is installed on a server with unrestricted staff access. This may also be called as corporate end-user piracy.



Software piracy is harmful to all and all. This causes great loss to the producers of the software. They don’t get their expected wages, because of piracy.

In some case, software piracy demotivates the programmer to create more and more creative software for everyone’s day to day life. It can be said as a curse to the online community. But in some case, software piracy is needed.

Usually, students don’t have the money to buy expensive software that is needed for their projects. So, there is only one way open to them which is using pirated software.


26th April, 2019


It's NI Nakib living in Bangladesh. Working and learning SEO. Also, I can be called Article Writer, Content Creator, Digital Marketer.

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