November 08 2023 0Comment

Preventing Software Piracy with Intellectual Property Law

The globe has seen rapid progress in information innovation, advancement in various innovations, and digitalisation over the years. This advancement has also resulted in the growth of crimes and illegal digital activities, such as hacking and programming theft. Software organisations have been deeply tarnished by theft, which not only endangers the product designers but also harms the product’s customers. The advancement of technology has made it easier for anyone to duplicate ideas, reproduce them, and sell them to the market.

PC software has simplified people’s lives and transformed manual labour into specialised labour; yet, misuse of such tools has resulted in essential concerns, such as theft, a persistent issue in several countries worldwide. It is an undeniable fact that software piracy and related infractions are on the rise all over the world in this century as a result of advancements in technology and digitization, and credit should be given to the Internet. Because of the Internet, this has now become a global issue. Because the web encroached on protected software, not only the proprietor/maker but also the client of such programming has faced financial difficulties.

Why is software piracy being one of the biggest concerns for technology companies?

Software piracy is the illegal duplication or distribution of protected software. This should be possible via duplicating, downloading, distributing, selling, or introducing numerous duplicates onto a person’s or company’s PCs. According to Nasscom, software theft is defined as the use, proliferation, or distribution of a product without the expressed agreement of the product provider.

Software piracy is simply a demonstration performed by any individual in which he replicates, downloads, provides, sells, or introduces a duplicate of the product without the authorization of the product creator when the product creator has selective copyright. When a person purchases software, he buys a licence to use the product, not the copyright. In India, software programs are given copyright protection, and anyone who uses them without permission is charged with theft for unauthorised use of copyright materials. In any case, replicating software for the sake of existence is not prohibited; nevertheless, any demonstration that will abuse the selective privileges of the copyright holder will result in legal action being taken against such individuals.

How can IP law help protect software privacy?

Intellectual property is any product of the human mind that the law protects from unauthorised use by others. Intellectual property ownership automatically generates a limited monopoly on protected property. Intellectual property is divided into four categories: patents, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets. Intellectual property rights are the rights granted to individuals over their mental works. They often grant the inventor exclusive rights to utilise their creation for a set time.

As a signatory to the TRIPs Agreement, India has amended its laws to provide the highest level of intellectual property protection in the global norm. The product is treated as a scholarly work in India, and copyright protection has been granted. Because current patent law is not equipped to extend its security to programming, programming has been guaranteed under the Indian Copyright Act 1957.

What are the legal provisions related to software piracy?

Software piracy can be prosecuted under civil and criminal legislation under the Indian Copyright Act. The minimum prison term for infringement of software copyright is seven days, while the maximum prison term is three years. Legal sanctions range from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2,00,000 rupees. Sections of the Information Technology Act of 2000 can also be implemented depending on the piracy situation.



Section 13 (1) (a) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 This section provides security for all forms of one-of-a-kind productions. The PC programme is remembered as the Act’s one-of-a-kind artwork, and its infringement will result in actual remedial and civil measures.
The 1994 amendment also included provisions for harsh punishment for demonstrating infringement of protected software programmes. The Act expressly states that any demonstration completed by an unapproved individual with the product that was legitimately completed by the approved licensee individual counts as an incursion demonstration.
The Act includes conventional remedies such as orders, harms, and other managerial measures taken by regulatory professionals for the protection of protected software.
Section 51 (a) (ii) of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 This provision specifies that allowing any media (software/hardware) to be used for distribution of the protected software or other work to the general public for monetary gain constitutes infringement of copyright. The term “communication to the public” is defined in Section 2(ff) of the Act (6) as hearing, appreciating, or seeing the issue of protected work; however, it falls short on the risk of Internet Service Providers because it does not provide any express arrangements to envelop the responsibility of Service providers, as other countries do.

The Act also involves heads separately or as a board whose authorization was obtained for the commission of the offence, and it punishes both persons and friends, as well as the organisation that provides Internet administration. There is a separate part dealing with the “offence,” which includes the demonstration of utilisationn as well as abetting the utilisation of incursion of protected labour. This section punishes both the client and the enabler of the infringed protected work. The Act also penalises the corporation in Section 69(1) (7), which specifies that anyone controlling, managing, or responsible for the firm’s affairs will be punished for using or abetting the infringement of intellectual work.

Intellectual property law in India allows for the reproduction of protected work for reasonable use. However, as data innovation and digitalization continue to improve, the pirated software sector has grown significantly extent. Incorporating international standards into public law has significantly strengthened the law governing software security in India. Nonetheless, India is a big centre for pirated software. Even though India has a strong and strict intellectual property law, software piracy is common. There are try. There are various reasons for this, including the lack of legitimate execution of intellectual property law, a lack of awareness among persons about intellectual property rules, and the inaccessibility of the product in terms of quantity and availability.


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