Types of Internet Piracy

Internet piracy of software and content products can take many forms, such as auction sites, torrent sites, cracks/serials sites and many others. Learn more about the different types of piracy on the web.

Real-Life Examples of Piracy

There are a number of scenarios where which piracy occurs. These real-life stories depict how software piracy affects the industry as a whole.

Types of Content Infringements

Many people who infringe copyright may be unaware they are doing anything illegal. Some illegal practices are so widespread that most people don't even think about whether or not they are legal. Therefore, we have composed a list of some of the most common ways in which content is infringed, focusing on those methods principally employed by business users.

The Content Infringement Problem

Many people who infringe copyright may be unaware they are doing anything illegal. Some illegal practices are so widespread that most people don't even think about whether or not they are legal. Therefore, we have composed a list of some of the most common ways in which content is infringed, focusing on those methods principally employed by business users.

Consequences of Software Piracy

The losses suffered as a result of software piracy directly affect the profitability of the software industry. Publishers have fewer resources to devote to research and development of new products, have less revenue to justify lowering software prices and are forced to pass these costs on to their customers. Using pirated software is also risky for users. Aside from the legal consequences of using pirated software, users of pirated software forfeit some practical benefits as well.

Legal Remedies for Copyright Infringement

Because Congress recognizes that copyright infringement is a significant problem that severely damages the U.S. economy, the fines and penalties under the Copyright Act are among the most severe in U.S. law. The remedies are designed to provide substantial deterrence to the infringer and others, in order to limit or prevent future copyright infringement, as well as penalize the infringer for the past conduct, and fully compensate the aggrieved copyright owner and recoup any gain reaped by the infringer.

You Bought Software or Content, Can You Re-Sell It?

Many people think that that once they buy something they have the unbridled right to re-sell it. In most cases this is correct. But software and content is not sold; it's licensed. As a result, there may be limitations on what you can do with that software or content you are using.

Is My Use of Content a Fair Use?

While fair use is one of the most frequently-discussed and recognized phrases in copyright law, it is a narrow legal concept and is often misunderstood. Assuming that an unauthorized copy is "fair use" because it is "no big deal," "only one copy" or "for my own personal use" is usually a mistake. Don't just assume you know what fair use means.

Glossary of Anti-Piracy and Copyright Terms

Do your students know what DRM stands for? How about the definition of public domain? Find more information about common copyright terms here.

Copyright for the Campus Community

Guidelines for copyright and the educucational community.

Anti-Piracy FAQ

Compiled by SIIA, includes information regarding software and content usage, penalties for piracy, reporting piracy, and purchasing software and content over the Internet.

Software Use and the Law (PDF)

SIIA has produced this guide for individuals, businesses, educational institutions, server operators and user groups in Canada and the United States. This guide is intended to provide a basic understanding of the issues involved in ethical software use. It will tell you what the laws are, how to follow them and why you should adhere to them.

Software Buying Guide: How to Avoid Buying Illegal Software on an Auction Site

Software Buying Guide: How to Buy Legal Software on an Auction Site

Software Buying Guide: What You Need to Know About Academic and OEM Software

Content Buying Guide: How to Buy Content Legally on an Auction Site

Kids should know:


Kids are growing up in the digital age, where everything that they could dream of owning -- movies, CDs, computer games, even papers and other assignments for school - can be had with just the click of a mouse. And without proper intervention and education, they might not see a single thing wrong with downloading or copying the latest and greatest software.

It's up to parents and educators to teach children how piracy hurts developers and how pirating can lead to serious financial repercussions, even jail time. To combat piracy the SIIA has put together information and helpful links so that the next generation will think before they copy that floppy (or CD, or DVD, or Blu-Ray...).

Start with this fun and educational video starring anti-piracy hero MC Double Def DP of 1992's "Don't Copy That Floppy" fame.

Theft is an unfortunate problem that confronts everyone in some form, whether burglary, robbery, counterfeiting, shoplifting, embezzlement or others. Creators and innovators that rely on copyright to protect their software, books, articles, games, music and other works are no different. Copyright is a form of property and copyright infringement or piracy is theft. While computers and the Internet have provided many new efficiencies and positive changes, they have given rise to new risks and possibilities for copyright theft, particularly for those that create and distribute software and content. Because digital technology makes it so easy to make copies quickly and perfectly -- and distribute them instantaneously and (most people falsely think) anonymously to large numbers of people -- it can be more tempting than ever to violate the copyright laws.

It takes just a few simple clicks of a mouse to copy and redistribute software and digital content. The act is so easy and such a seamless part of using the Internet (and certainly not always illegal) that anyone who has ever used e-mail or the Internet has undoubtedly done it. We all forward e-mails, we print out web pages and we download files from the Internet. The result is flawless copies of the original, equally flawless copies of the copies, and so on. It is this copying and distribution capability that makes software and digital content so easy to work with - and so difficult to protect from theft.

While most people generally are law-abiding by nature, the copying of copyrighted works has become so widespread that people who would never consider stealing a book or magazine from a store may not hesitate to use their computers to commit a similar violation -- breaking the copyright laws. In some cases, the violation may even be inadvertent. The law, however, does not excuse inadvertent or uninformed copyright infringement, and imposes significant consequences. The penalties are particularly severe for those who "wilfully" infringe, meaning that they knew, or reasonably should have known, that they were violating the law.

Anyone who uses, copies, distributes, or displays (in whole or in part) someone else's copyrighted work without authorization may be violating the owner's copyright rights. Such violations can result in a lawsuit and money damages, and in some cases, criminal prosecution with jail time.

People often engage in piracy because they think they will never get caught. Most of them are right. But many are not. The question each person needs to ask themselves is - Do I want to play Russian roulette with my life?

These consequences can be avoided if people would take the time to get informed and make better decisions regarding the downloading and purchasing of copyrighted software, content, games, movies and music.