Nowadays it seems perfectly normal to download software, music and movies from illegal sources. Don’t feel like going to the cinema to watch a movie? Do you want to play a new computer game within a few minutes? Or do you want to get started quickly with the latest Microsoft Office software package? You can almost always download this online from various websites. Of course it is perfectly fine to download these applications from a legal source. But most of the time people seem to download software from an illegal website. This can involve many risks. But what risks exactly? And when is downloading software truly ‘illegal’? You’ll read all about it in this blog!
When is it illegal to download software?
For many years it was not officially illegal to download software, music or games from an online source. Although it was illegal to upload or sell copied material via the internet, downloading software for ‘home usage’ was perfectly fine. As long as you did not distribute the copied software, you were not illegally involved and you could not be prosecuted.
In early 2014 there was a change in the European regulations. It became clear that, for example, film producers and software developers had a considerably lower turnover thanks to these download rules. It became clear a distinction had to be made between downloading from legal and illegal sources. Legal sources such a Spotify and Netflix pay a royalty to the original rightsholder. Illegal sources such as The Pirate Bay do not do this. The following sources are examples of pages where you can or could download software illegally:
- The Pirate Bay
- Kickass Torrents
The 5 biggest risks when downloading software
Although downloading software from certain sources is officially illegal, people still keep doing it. But is wise to do so? Many dangers are lurking:
1. High fines
As discussed, download software from illegal sources is officially prohibited by legislation. This means that the government can prosecute you when still do so. At the beginning of the download ban, only the large-scale uploaders of software were prosecuted. Nowadays, fines are also being sent to individual downloaders. Did you, for example, illegally downloaded a game, song or movie from an illegal source? Then there might be a chance that you will get a fine of several hundred dollars or pounds!
2. Online threats
Illegally downloaded software hardly ever comes ‘alone’. Criminals often add malware to the download file to infect your computer. So, you decide to download and install that ‘free’ Office 2016 software from The Pirate Bay? Chances are you will soon see a virus warning on your computer screen. Viruses, spyware and adware can be installed automatically when you open an illegally downloaded file and pose a serious threat. For example, personal details such as bank accounts or login details can be stolen. But certain viruses can also lock or even delete files on your computer. You never run this risk when you download software from an official source.
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3. No updates
Illegally downloading an (Windows) operating system also involves various risks. For example, Microsoft Windows regularly provides updates to protect users against online threats such as viruses and adware. Microsoft also tries to close these security leaks. Have you downloaded an illegal version from Windows? Then you will not receive these updates and your computer will be in danger of being hacked. Therefore, only purchase an operating system from a reliable party such as SoftwareLicense4U. This ensures that you can use your computer every day with a secure feeling.
4. Applications are not available
When you choose to illegally download software, operating systems, or games, chances are that certain options are not available. For example, it may be impossible to play games online against other players. Or you might not have access to the most recent updates of the software package. It even might be possible that certain parts of the software don’t work at all. This all has a negative influence on the usability and safety of the illegally downloaded software.
5. You will decrease innovation
Because you use illegal software, the developer does not receive any compensation. And this can have major consequences for new software in the future. Every year computer uses wants newer, better and more software. The software has to become more beautiful, faster and more user-friendly. If software developers don’t receive any compensation, this can limit the innovation possibilities. Ultimately the users – you – are the victim. Software will not be updated according to the most recent security and quality requirements. And you should keep using outdated software.
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As you can see it is very unwise to download software illegally. Downloading illegal software applications involves several risks that may cost you time, energy and even money. A lot of original software is available online against low prices. At FastLicenses you can buy cheap operating systems, virus scanners and Office packages. All original licenses, with a legal download link included. Quickly check out our store to download software in a safe, secure and reliable way!