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Be part of the change: Install legitimate software

Software licenses; people always ignore it.

What is a software license?

A software license is usually an agreement that grants a right to use software code to someone else. A license usually grants less rights than a sale of a copy of the software. The rights to use the code are defined by the terms of the license.

Why is it important?

Today’s businesses rely upon software to perform many critical functions. The software makes machines and systems work in every sector of the world economy. That’s everything from applications that control advanced medical devices,  applications that make us entertained, applications that make companies productive, to programs that analyze the behavior of financial markets.

Software developers may want to make code available to other developers in order for applications to be more widely used in the market. Manufacturers and publishers may want to acquire rights to software that can make their products work in new ways or, in ways compatible with the customers’ existing computer systems.

In order to have the legal right to use software to achieve the required needs, the rights and limits in the associated software license take on critical importance.

Licensing is one of the most crucial parts of acquiring software. But this is always ignored. Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?

The risks of using pirated software

Companies can be held liable under both civil and criminal law if caught installing or purchasing unauthorised software copies even if the company’s executives didn’t know an employee had done so.

Illegal software is a prime source of computer viruses, which can destroy valuable data or create serious company downtime. It can also contain malware and other malicious scripts that could lead to data theft or ransomware.

These copies have high failure and defection rates that may lead into a number of difficulties that stem from no user manuals, no warranties, no technical support, and no upgrade.

Apart from that, if you buy a single licensed copy and install the software on more than one computer, you’ve committed piracy. If you have a multiple license but install the program on too many computers, it’s an “overuse” violation.

Using an academic version of the software in a commercial setting violates the law. Borrowing a friend’s purchased copy and installing it is considered piracy.

Downloading copyrighted programs from a file-sharing site is illegal, just as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has been preaching about music downloads. Nowadays, music is readily available everywhere to streaming platforms like Apple Music or Spotify.

Internet shops selling reduced-priced software may be peddling illegal copies. Unless you have a full license number and an original manual, the software is probably a counterfeit.

Apart from legal consequences, copied or counterfeit software can also result in technical headaches.

So, protect yourself, respect others, and give importance to buying legitimate copies of your favourite software. Show support to the makers of the software. They spent sleepless nights making them to make our lives easier and more productive.

Nowadays, software licensing is becoming more and more affordable to individual users. Notwithstanding, there is plenty of free alternative open-source software out there.

Below is a list of some commercial software and it’s alternative software that you can try.

Commercial SoftwareFree Open Source Alternative
PhotoshopGimp
InDesignScribus
Microsoft OfficeLibreOffice
Cinema4D / 3D Studio MaxBlender
IllustratorInkscape
Media EncoderMpeg Streamclip

Do you know any other free open source that you currently use? Share them in the comments section below.

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