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1 definition found
 for software theft
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  software theft
  
      Unauthorised duplication and/or use of computer
     software.  This usually means unauthorised copying, either
     by individuals for use by themselves or their friends or by
     companies who then sell the illegal copies to users.  Many
     kinds of software protection have been invented to try to
     reduce software theft but, with sufficient effort, it is
     always possible to bypass or "crack" the protection, and
     software protection is often annoying for legitimate users.
  
     Software theft in 1994 was estimated to have cost $15 billion
     in worldwide lost revenues to software publishers.  It is an
     offence in the UK under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
     1988, which states that "The owner of the copyright has the
     exclusive right to copy the work."
  
     It is estimated that European software houses alone lose $6
     billion per year through the unlawful copying and distribution
     of software, with much of this loss being through business
     users rather than "basement hackers".  One Italian pirating
     operation employed over 100 staff and had a turnover of $10M.
  
     It is illegal to: 1. Copy or distribute software or its
     documentation without the permission or licence of the
     copyright owner.  2. Run purchased software on two or more
     computers simultaneously unless the licence specifically
     allows it.  3. Knowingly or unknowingly allow, encourage or
     pressure employees to make or use illegal copies sources
     within the organisation.  4. Infringe laws against
     unauthorised software copying because someone compels or
     requests it.  5. Loan software in order that a copy be made of
     it.
  
     When software is upgraded it is generally the case that the
     licence accompanying the new version revokes the old version.
     This means that it is illegal to run both the old and new
     versions as only the new version is licensed.
  
     Both individuals and companies may be convicted of piracy
     offences.  Officers of a company are also liable to conviction
     if the offences were carried out by the company with their
     consent.  On conviction, the guilty party can face
     imprisonment for up to two years (five in USA), an unlimited
     fine or both as well as being sued for copyright infringement
     (with no limit) by the copyright owner.
  
     Because copying software is easy, some think that it is less
     wrong than, say, stealing it from a shop.  In fact, both
     deprive software producers of income.
  
     Software theft should be reported to the Federation Against
     Software Theft (FAST).
  
     See also Business Software Alliance, software audit,
     software law.
  
     (2003-06-17)
  

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