Software piracy is the act of illegally copying, duplicating, distributing or reselling of counterfeit software for profit. It is a violation of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, which includes penalties of up to nine years imprisonment and a fine of up to 1.5 million Philippine pesos.
However, some crooked businesses disguised as a legitimate seller were tempted to enter piracy because of its profitability and Quickbooks were not spared from the act of piracy.
What are the different types of software piracy?
Organized counterfeit sales – This is the illegal duplication and sale of copyrighted software without authorization from the copyright owner and can result in both civil and criminal penalties.
Unlicensed use – This occurs when people and companies reproduce or share copies of software without adequate licenses. Unlicensed use can occur when:
- The product has a single-user license but is installed on more than one computer. This is the common practice in Quickbooks piracy.
- The product is a counterfeit or restricted-use version of software and is used or sold in violation of the license terms or without proper qualifications. Also applies to Quickbooks piracy.
- The product is shared over the Internet or downloaded from a peer-to-peer network in violation of federal law and license requirements.
Hard-disk loading – This is the unauthorized installation of software onto new or used computers by another person or company, typically to make the purchase of the computer a better deal.
How can you detect if a business is selling pirated Quickbooks accounting software?
Previously registered software – If the product is being advertised as “used” or “previously registered” or “perpetual copy,” its license is generally not transferable. Any attempt to sell or resale would therefore be prohibited.
Restricted-use software – Restricted-use versions of Intuit software, such as academic, not-for-resale, hardware-prebundled or trial versions, may only be acquired by qualified users and generally cannot be resold.
Multi-license packs – Some Intuit software products are available in 5 or 10-license packs or other configurations. As explained in the license terms, such packages cannot be broken up and sold separately.
“Too good to be true” pricing – While some offers may seem like a “great deal,” such as lower amount package bundled with lots of free inclusion (third party programs/trainings/tech support/annual maintenance), buyers may not get what they expect. Those victimized by purchasing counterfeit software may expose themselves to the risks noted above. Additionally, buyers will ultimately need to purchase a legitimate license (or licenses) to continue using the software lawfully. As the old adage says, “If it looks too good to be true, it usually is!”
What are the negative effects of Quickbooks pirated copy?
Virus threats – When users install software from counterfeit CDs or any external drives, they expose themselves to risks that such CDs or drives might also contain other material, including potentially destructive material like computer viruses.
Impact on research and development – Piracy undermines software companies’ ability to invest in research and development, slowing the industry’s ability to bring new and innovative solutions to consumers.
Identity theft risks – Piracy can expose end-users to potential risks of identity theft if criminals who sell counterfeit or pirated software manage to obtain a buyer’s name, address, credit card and other information during purchase.
Support and maintenance – Companies selling pirated copies may deprive their consumers and clients of the basic protections offered by properly licensed software producers and distributors like money-back guarantees, installation support, software updates, maintenance releases, and upgrade rebates.
How to spot, avoid and report pirated software?
Pirated software and the websites that sell or share it can look entirely legitimate, but a few simple “tests” will help you spot the fakes and avoid the seller’s scams.
To help you identify pirated software, the Business Software Alliance recommends the following tests:
- Trust your instincts. Check the online seller’s price against the estimated retail value of the software. If a price seems “too good to be true,” it probably is.
- Make sure it’s authentic. Be suspicious of software products that do not include proof of authenticity such as original disks, certificates, manuals, provision of licenses, services policies, or product warranties.
- Beware of backups. Avoid sellers offering to make backup copies. This is a clear indication the software is illegal.
- Steer clear of compilations. Be wary of compilations of software titles from different publishers on a single disk or CD.
- Get seller’s contact information. If you cannot contact the seller after making a purchase (always busy/cannot be reached), you may have no recourse if the product turns out to be pirated. Make certain to get the history of the seller and the company, their company address and the seller’s social media profiles such as Linkedin/Facebook, if possible.
- Keep Receipts. Printout a copy of your order number and sales confirmation and file them for your records. This information will help build your case if it is pirated and further action is needed.
- Ensure secure payment. Make certain that the internet connections you are using are secure.
- Understand transaction terms. Get a clear understanding of the merchant’s policies concerning returns and refunds, shipping costs, after sales support, product certificates, and security and privacy protection before you complete the transaction. Most importantly, look for a trust mark from a reputable organization to make sure the online retailer is reliable and has a proven track record of satisfying customers.
- Do your homework. Before making a purchase, do as much research on the seller and vendor as you can. Check the seller’s rating or feedback comments. Try using Google to search for the name of the business owner, employees and the company itself.
- Ask the experts. Contact the BSA with any concerns or questions by calling 1-888-NOPIRACY or visiting their website www.bsa.org.
What can you do if you unwittingly obtained pirated Quickbooks software?
Please report it to Intuit via e-mail at email@example.com. Intuit will investigate the source of the software and take appropriate action, where necessary.
In the Philippines, the Business Software Copyright Piracy Enforcement Unit, referred to as BUSPU under the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the one in-charge of carrying out the piracy law.
For more information about Quickbooks piracy and for consultation about our products and services, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For faster transactions, you may call us at (02) 7-6226608 / (02) 7-6256899 or +639178550539 / +639171300290.
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