Official ANTI-PIRACY & Marketing Team Leaders
H.V. Chalapathi Raju
CSS Antipiracy Staff
eSky Software Solutions
L. Siva Koti Prasad
K. Pardha Saradhi
T. Venkat Reddy
Know More About
Piracy and its Concequences
Many people believe software
piracy - or 'software theft' - only harms software creators. However, the
damage caused by software piracy goes much further. Unwary organisations
of all types, who buy counterfeit and even stolen
software, can inadvertently face serious technical and legal problems.
The directors of companies discovered with unlicensed, under-licensed,
counterfeit or pirated software on their systems are legally liable.
Counterfeit and pirated software can also carry viruses, lack key elements
and cause incompatibility issues. It also denies you warranty cover and
eligibility for support.
Legal costs and fines
software can mean financial penalties and legal costs. Executives of the
company can be held individually liable for any copyright infringement
within the organisation.
software licenses can damage your company's reputation and even hurt
Viruses that can harm computers and networks
software often contains viruses that can potentially damage individual
computers and even an entire network. Most individuals and companies
would be devastated by the partial or complete data loss that these
viruses can cause.
No technical support or product upgrades
If you use unlicensed software, you cannot receive technical support from
the software publisher. This may prevent you from completing your work.
You also cannot take advantage of product upgrades - these are usually
cheaper than the cost of a new version.
Software compatibility issues
Unlicensed software may cause incompatibility between programs that would
normally function together seamlessly.
Legal costs and fines, damaged reputation, computer viruses,
ineligibility for technical support and software compatibility issues all
negatively affect your efficiency and the efficiency of your employees.
The best and most cost-effective way to avoid these risks is to either
buy your software from an authorised source, or subscribe to a volume
licensing program. These programs will allow you to manage your software
and upgrades easily - and save you money through the discount schemes
Law in India
In India, the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of computer software is
covered under the Copyright Law. Accordingly, the copyright of computer
software is protected under the provisions of Indian Copyright Act 1957.
Major changes to Indian Copyright Law were introduced in 1994 and came
into effect from 10 May 1995. These changes or amendments made the Indian
Copyright law, one of the toughest in the world.
The amendments to the Copyright Act introduced in June 1994 were in
themselves, a landmark in the India's copyright arena. For the first time
in India, the Copyright Law clearly explained:
The rights of a copyright holder.
Position on rentals of software.
The rights of the user to make backup copies and
most importantly the amendments imposed heavy punishment and fines for
infringement of copyright of software.
Because most software is easy to duplicate and
the copy is usually as good as original, the Copyright Act was greatly
in demand. According to this Act, the infringer can be tried under both
civil and criminal law.
According to section 14 of this Act, it is illegal to make
or distribute copies of copyrighted software without proper or specific
authorisation. The only exception is provided by section 52 of the Act,
which allows a backup copy purely as a temporary protection against loss,
distribution or damage to the original copy. The 1994 amendment to the
Copyright Act also prohibits the sale or hiring, or any offer for sale or
hire of any copy of the computer program without specific authorisation
of the Copyright holder. A civil and criminal action may be instituted
for injunction, actual damages (including infringer's profits) or
statutory damages per infringement etc. With these amendments, even the
criminal penalties ave substantially increased. Section 63 B, stipulates
a minimum jail term of 7 days which can be extended up to 3 years. The
Act further states the fine ranging from Rs. 50,000 to 2,00,000.
Government agencies have been very actively participating in protecting
of the rights of the copyright holder. Both Ministry of Information
Technology and Ministry of Human Resource Development have
been active in incorporating
amendments to the Indian Copyright Act. These agencies are now helping
the law enforcing agencies e.g. the Police in enforcing the law. Today,
NASSCOM officers and those of these government agencies are committed to
copyright laws and eradicate the menace of software piracy.
The Anti-Piracy raids facilitated by NASSCOM and Business Software
Alliance (BSA) over the last few years in metros as well as smaller
cities have already had salutary effect. The law enforcing authorities
too supported these raids actively.