Software Piracy Lawyers
What Is Software Piracy?
- Copying and distributing the software directly is what most people think of as piracy. This type of violation will make a person subject to a civil lawsuit for copyright violation and may also create criminal liability.
- Downloading a pirated software program is also a violation of copyright law. While file sharing is most commonly thought of in terms of music and movies, many software programs are also illegally downloaded.
- Most software is purchased with a license agreement which limits the use of the software, and the violation or evasion of this license can be copyright infringement. The license typically is in the form of a pop-up that appears when the software is initially installed and must be agreed to before the program is installed. The license restricts the use of the program, such as limiting the installation to a certain number of computers, typically one or two.
- Some licenses claim that in buying the program all that is really purchased is the license to use it and not the program itself, and thus the buyer cannot sell the program to someone else. Most courts have ruled that this is not the case and that resale is allowed as long as the license agreement is not violated in other ways. Several courts have ruled that this is a violation, however, and the law on this issue can be somewhat contradictory.
- The Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibits the interferrence with any anti-piracy protection included with the software, such as a program that prevents the software from being copied.
It is not a copyright violation to copy software for the purpose of creating a back-up. Many licenses provide for this directly, however it is also provided by federal law.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The law of software copyrights is very complex and everchanging. If you have been accused of violating electronic copyright laws, you should consult a lawyer immediately. An experienced intellectual property attorney can advise you of your rights and any possible defenses, as well as represent you in court.
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Last Modified: 12-22-2011 04:11 PM PST
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