Using software in any fashion that violates its license agreement.
Software piracy is a violation of intellectual property rights. When you purchase software, you agree to comply
with the licensing agreement included with the software, and violations of this agreement can result in criminal and civil penalties. Software piracy can take many forms, including the following:
. Illegally copying software by burning a copy for a friend or colleague
. Installing single-use software on more than one computer (sometimes called “softlifting”)
. Posting files for commercially licensed software on the Internet for others to download
. Underreporting the number of computers on which commercial software has been installed
. Duplicating software and selling it fraudulently as legitimate software
. Selling not-for-resale samples of software received for testing and evaluation purposes
. Selling Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) “backup copies” of software included with preinstalled
systems (called “OEM unbundling”)
. Renting software for temporary use by others (violates
the U.S. Software Rental Amendments Act of 1990)
Microsoft provides businesses and consumers with a number of tools to ensure they are not willingly or unwillingly using pirated software or violating licensing agreements, including special identification features on legitimate product CDs, the Microsoft Software Inventory Analyzer, and various licensing guides explaining different licensing programs avail-able. Software piracy is a growing problem that costs the United States and other national economies billions of dollars each year.