Is Software Piracy Good For The Tech Industry?


I know this might seem like heresy but please ease up on the pitchforks and torches. Hear me out. First of all, you have to agree that there is a lot of software out there. Too many to count. Regardless of which niche or category of software, there is no shortage of applications supplying a need in that category. Graphics design? For every Photoshop, you have dozens of other freeware, open source, and paid software titles.  Word processing? For every Microsoft Word, there is a long list of alternatives.

For these types of applications, there is not as much incentive to use pirated software because of the huge amount of alternatives. Now, for more specialized software, the alternatives might not be as good or there might not be any alternative software. In these situations, people might be tempted to download illegal copies of software. At this stage of the analysis, people have to realize that there are two kinds of software users: business and private users.

Business users just have too much to lose by using illegal copies-lawsuits, business interruptions, and possible brand damage. Due to the huge amount of risk at stake compared to the relatively small amount of gain, a majority of businesses opt to use legitimate copies of software.

For consumers, it is more complicated. Critics of piracy would ask ‘why should anyone buy the cow when you get the milk for free?’ The truth is there are some key reasons why people would still want to buy legitimate and official software instead of just using torrents for their software needs.

Security issues

Hackers and malware authors and other cybercriminal groups are not blind to the fact that one of the most efficient and effective ways to distribute malware is by hitching a ride on illegal software. That’s why it is no surprise to always see at least one virus, malware, or spyware warning posted on torrent sites’ download pages.

To cybercriminals, spreading malware via illegal software is both a numbers game and a matter of time. If they didn’t get you with your download of Grand Theft Auto IV, they might get you when you download Skyrim. They have the advantage. They can outwait you.

Moreover,  they have seeded so many copies and so many infected versions of a software title that they are effectively stacking the odds in their favor. They will willingly infect 100 files just to get 1 sucker to download and install their harmful code. Due to these risks, some illegal software users decide to buy legitimate copies of the software they have tried out.

Copy Quality

Even if you managed to dodge the virus bullet and get a clean copy, it might be a bad copy and not all the files might be present. Sure, it works but the copy is bad and keeps you from fully enjoying the software. In this situation, you might get enough of a taste for the software that you will be willing to pay for a legitimate copy.

Fully Functioning Software

Not all the software uploaded to torrent sites are fully functioning. However, they function well enough for you to do what you want the software to do. Eventually, you might be so impressed by the software and have gotten dependent on it. As a result, you decide to stop screwing around and buy the fully functioning software so you can use all features.

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