for Software Piracy
distribution of software can subject a seller to arrest and
felony charges with fines up to US$250,000 and prison
terms of up to 5 years.
litigation against infringers trafficking in or using ProForce
Software Corporation product(s) that are illegally distributed
or reproduced, ProForce Software Corporation can obtain the
higher of its lost profits, the infringer's profits, or statutory
damages of up to US$100,000 per product, per infringement,
in addition to recovery of ProForce Software Corporations'
attorneys' fees in the action.
of persons responsible for distribution of illegal ProForce
Software Corporation software are retained and ProForce Software
Corporation will seek criminal or civil prosecution of any
of any rights is made or intended by ProForce Software Corporation
with respect to first- time offenders.
Software Corporation has, and will continue to pursue many
first-time offenders. ProForce Software Corporation pursues
offenders regardless of size or location.
piracy cost the software industry US$2.8 billion in the US
alone. The downside of acquiring pirated software are clear:
pirated products can carry viruses and often do not come with
documentation; in addition, consumers cannot receive upgrades
or technical support for pirated software.
use our form to report suspected software piracy. If you prefer
to speak with an anti-piracy representative, please call our
toll free hotline: 1-800-651-5520. If the information you
provide turns into a corporate lead and if we get the company
to legalize (by buying genuine ProForce software), ProForce
will provide you with a free copy of any software title we
Piracy Press Release: Click
Piracy Form: Click
If I was instructed
by my employer to install illegal software onto company computers,
who could be held liable?
liability" of the US Copyright Act, an employer is liable
for acts committed by its employees when those acts are within
the scope of their employment duties. Another theory of liability
is the doctrine of contributory copyright infringement, whereby
a party who does not do an infringing act but who aids or
encourages it is liable for the infringement.
Can I take a piece
of software owned by my company and install it on my personal
computer at home if instructed by my supervisor?
A good rule of thumb
to follow is one software package per computer, unless the
terms of the license agreement allow for multiple use of the
program. But some software publishers' licenses allow for
"remote" or "home" use of their software. If you travel or
telecommute, you may be permitted to copy your software onto
a second machine for use when you are not at your office computer.
Check the license carefully to see if you are allowed to do
Is it legal to
install an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) version of
software on a computer other than the one in which the software
OEM software is only
distributed when sold with specified accompanying hardware.
When these programs are copied and/or sold separately from
the hardware, this is a violation of the contract with the
publisher, and therefore illegal.
Can I rent a piece
of software from a store?
The Software Rental
Amendments Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-650) prohibits the
rental, leasing, or lending of software without the express
permission of the copyright holder.
Can I purchase
a single licensed copy of a piece of software and load it
onto several machines?
This is known as
"softlifting," which is contrary to the terms of a license
agreement. This includes sharing with friends and coworkers
and installing software on home/laptop computers if not allowed
by the license.
Can I give or
sell a "backup copy" of a licensed program to other people?
A "backup copy" can
be used for "archival purposes only." This copy cannot be
sold or distributed to another party without the consent of
the copyright owner.
What are the maximum
civil penalties for copyright infringement?
In the United States,
the infringer is liable for damages suffered by the copyright
owner plus any profits of the infringer that are attributable
to the copying or statutory damages of up to $150,000 for
each work infringed.
What are the maximum
criminal penalties for copyright infringement?
In the US, the infringer
could be fined up to $250,000 and jail terms of up to five
In 1997. An undercover FBI operation revealed that PWA operated
a major FTP website called "Sentinel" that allowed members
to download thousands of copyrighted software programs for
Five of the PWA members
are former employees of Intel Corp., four of which were found
to have provided hardware capable of distributing the 5,000
software titles that were present on the "Sentinel" site.
Are pirated software
and other forms of copyright infringement protected by the
The First Amendment
is not a defense for committing copyright infringement. Harper
& Row Pub., Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 105
S.Ct. 2218 (1985). Conversely, copyright laws are not restrictions
on free speech, but instead provide protection to speech and
expression. By doing so, copyright laws seek to promote creativity
and the wide dissemination of ideas. Therefore, the unlawful
reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material is not
protected by the First Amendment and is considered copyright
infringement under Federal law. In addition, inducing, causing
or materially contributing to the commission of a direct infringement
may constitute contributory infringement under Federal law.
Material contained in a web site to promote a direct infringement
in this manner, may, therefore, constitute contributory infringement
and is not protected by the First Amendment.
Is there a knowledge
requirement for copyright infringement?
Copyright law is a
strict liability tort and does not require the entity committing
the infringement, or responsible for the infringement, to
be aware that their actions are in violation of law. The absence
of knowledge, or even intent, does not negate the infringement
and is not a defense. Contributory copyright infringement
requires that the entity know, or should have known, that
they were inducing, causing or materially contributing to
the commission of a direct infringement. Material or activity
which promotes the commission of an infringement, therefore,
may constitute contributory infringement. This type of activity
is also not protected by the First Amendment.
Applying these principles,
server operators have the legal right to monitor and prohibit
publicly displayed material if they believe it to represent
an infringement. Such activity by server operators would not
constitute a violation of the First Amendment because, in
most cases, only the government can violate First Amendment
rights and because the First Amendment is not a defense against
copyright infringement. In addition, server operators, regardless
of knowledge, may be held liable for copyright infringement.
Finally, server operators who protect against copyright infringement,
by prohibiting certain material that may represent an infringement,
are acting in a manner conducive to current law which does
not violate the First Amendment or place them in the role
of a publisher. Server operators may choose to act as publishers
in other capacities, but actively preventing a violation of
law does not place them in that role. Instead, it reduces
their potential liability by ensuring adherence to the law.