Cheaper grey market options propel software piracy
India loses Rs 9 bn every year due to software piracy. Manufacturers, developers and the government no doubt feel the sting of this, but it is finally the consumer at the end of the chain who is hit the hardest.
"Despite awareness being spread by various software companies, media and the economic offence wing of Delhi police, people are still blind to the repercussions of using, purchasing and distributing pirated software…, says a software engineer working with a leading software company.
"Its not unawareness but a deliberate oversight by the people. They know there will be no upgrades. They know they won't have the right to access the support provided by the software manufacturer…Besides, pirated software often contains viruses that can potentially damage the data stored on a PC."
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Economic Offence Wing) Dinesh Bhatt says, "People are tempted to buy pirated software because it is cheaper than the licensed version."
People are also less wary because "there are no proper courts for the defaulter…". The punishment on conviction "is merely 6 months to three years of jail and a fine ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh".