Financial Data
Updated 30 Sep 2020

Is your software legal?

If the price of that new software package looks too good to be true then the software probably isn't.

02 April 2012  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

"Pirated" software is illegal. It might not only damage your computer, but the ensuing lawsuits might also destroy your entire business.

Illegal or "pirated" software might not only damage your computer, but the ensuing lawsuits might also destroy your entire business.So, how can you be sure that you're not inadvertently breaking the law?

  • If you copy software or distribute it, either for home use or for work, without a proper licence for each copy, it is pirated.
  • If a computer manufacturer takes one copy of software and illegally installs it on more than one computer, what you are buying might be illegal. Ask for proper licence documentation when purchasing a new PC or software.
  • Unauthorised copies of software are often available over the Internet. If you download something make sure that the publisher has authorised this distribution.
  • Sometimes illegal software has counterfeit packaging that looks like the original. There are ways of telling the difference - contact the manufacturer if you have doubts.
  • The resale of software marked NFR (Not for Resale) is illegal. Watch out for online distributors offering special deals on software bought from "liquidated inventories" or "through bankruptcy sales". These descriptions are sometimes used to fool consumers into believing that they are getting a genuine product.

Your business software is an asset and should be managed as such. By keeping it legal you ensure that you always have the full value, support and functionality that your business needs to operate at its best.

The Business Software Alliance can give you support in making sure that you are using legal software. See

Do your homework

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is the foremost organisation dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world.

Its website offers information and advice on anti-piracy issues, software management and copyright protection, cyber security, trade, e-commerce and others.

It also provides free software auditing tools to help you ensure that your business software is legal. For more information, click on the "anti-piracy information" link at

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