Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
- What is software "piracy?"
- Why is software "piracy" considered a crime?
- Who can be held liable for piracy?
- What are the penalties?
- What are the risks associated with using pirated software?
- Why is it so important to report piracy?
- What do I do if I suspect someone of piracy?
- After a suspected case of piracy is reported, then what happens?
- What will my involvement be after a suspected case of piracy is reported?
- What do I do? A friend gave me some software to copy onto my computer, and now I realize I'm guilty of piracy.
- How can I tell if a distributor or reseller has the legitimate right to sell Borland's software?
- unauthorized copying of software programs purchased legitimately, sometimes known as "end-user" piracy;
- gaining illegal access to protected software, also known as "cracking"; and
- reproducing and/or distributing counterfeit or otherwise unauthorized software, often over the counter.
Why is software "piracy" considered a crime?
Because a software pirate does not have proper permission from the software owner to take or use the software in question, piracy is the equivalent of theft and, therefore, a crime.
Who can be held liable for piracy?
Anyone who possesses or uses pirated software is potentially liable for piracy. This includes not only the sophisticated commercial counterfeiter, but also an individual user of a single pirated program.
What are the penalties?
The criminal penalties range from fines to jail terms or both. Civil penalties may reach as high as $150,000 for each program copied. The government can also criminally prosecute you for copyright infringement, and if convicted, you can be fined up to $250,000, or sentenced to jail for up to five years, or both.
Why is it so important to report piracy?
Borland makes use of information provided by outside sources to investigate piracy. Individuals who report piracy to Borland are an important part of this effort, and the information provided helps Borland investigate and stop illegal activity.
- Pirated software often lacks the important elements, documentation, and comes with no warranty protection or upgrade options;
- Counterfeit disks may be infected with viruses that will damage your hard drive or cripple your network, without the benefit of technical support;
- Copying or using illegally copied software at work puts the entire company at risk for copyright infringement;
- Pirated software that is either dysfunctional or that contains viruses wastes company resources and drives up IT costs;
- Fraud schemes; and
- May lead to civil penalties and criminal prosecution.
What do I do if I suspect someone of piracy?
If you suspect that piracy is occurring, whether it be a friend, employer, a web site offering counterfeit software, or otherwise, you should report your suspicions to Borland.
After a suspected case of piracy is reported, then what happens?
The information that you provide will be investigated by Borland's anti-piracy team. The ultimate result in a case may take many forms, including a warning ("cease and desist") letter, direct removal of offending material (as in the case of a web site offering counterfeit software products), civil enforcement proceedings, or referral to law enforcement authorities.
What will my involvement be after a suspected case of piracy is reported?
Depending on the nature of the case, Borland may ask and may find it helpful to have your continued cooperation in resolving the issue.
What do I do? A friend gave me some software to copy onto my computer, and now I realize I'm guilty of piracy.
If you believe you have inadvertently been involved in the piracy of Borland software, you should nevertheless report the circumstances and obtain a valid license from Borland. Generally, it is not Borland's policy to punish minor or unintentional piracy when the user takes appropriate steps to legalize the use.
How can I tell if a distributor or reseller has the legitimate right to sell Borland's software?
Borland is constantly adding new resellers and other channel partners, so you should contact Borland if you have any doubt as to the legitimacy of any particular vendor.