What is The Difference Between Pirated And Counterfeit Software?

Whenever you search for software or tool on the internet, you will find hundreds of sites available for access and downloading. Have you ever noticed many sites offer paid software for free? But “how it is possible to get paid software for free?” It is the main question that pops up in the mind of almost every user.

To understand this thing, you must know what is the difference between pirated and counterfeit software. It is because these types of software are those that you will get from third-party websites instead of official ones. Be with us to learn about these types in detail and the difference between them.

What is Pirated Software?

It is a type of software that will be an exact copy of the original software. Pirated software will be a 100% copy of the original software/program to give it an original look. In reality, this software will be an unauthorized copy of the original with 100% exact features that you will get in the original one.

The designers of this software always try to make it a reflection of the original software. It is because they want the users to be there for a long and download their software. Undoubtedly, it may not be possible for a common user to check whether the software is pirated or original because of the master skills of the developers.

While browsing the internet, you must have seen copies of Windows 10 offered by different websites. Mostly, those copies are just pirated programs because they have exactly what Windows 10 offers.

What is Counterfeit Software?

Another common type of software that can be free for everyone even if it is a paid one is counterfeit software. This type of software comes with little changes from the original one. You can say that it will be a little changed copy of the original software.

It may have some additional features or have lower features than the original one. Abide by this discussion, counterfeit software is also an unauthorized copy of the original software that you may be getting by paying some amount to the official platform.

Mostly, we download editing software from the internet just to get some additional features. All those software or tools come into this category as they have been modified by third-party developers.

Difference Between Pirated and Counterfeit Software

There is no major difference between pirated and counterfeit software because both of these are unauthorized copies of the original. So, do you think “what is the difference between pirated and counterfeit software?” this question is irrelevant.

No, you are thinking wrong because both software types have minor differences including features, working, and facilities. In pirated software, you will get exactly what the original company offers. You will not be able to identify whether the software is pirated or original unless you will get a disclaimer for this.

On the other side, the counterfeit software is the one that may have little changed (less or more) features as compared to the original one. It may be possible to identify this type of software after comparing it with the original one if you have ever used it in your life.

Is it illegal To Use Pirated Software?

Now, here comes the most common question regarding pirated software that is “is it illegal to use pirated software?” There is no direct answer to this question because laws vary from region to region and country to country.

In some parts of the world like the US, this will be illegal to use, supply, or sell pirated software. It is because this act is considered a crime that can damage the reputation of a business and harm its growth. Similarly, you will not find it illegal but unethical only in some parts of the world.

So, it is right to say that it depends on the region you are living in. But the thing to consider is never to share pirated software with anyone because you may face unexpected and dangerous conditions by doing so.

What Kind of Penalties You May Face Due To Pirated Software?

When you have an idea about the legality of pirated software, it is time to learn about the penalties regarding this. The reason is you must have an idea of what you may face in the future if you are using or selling pirated software. Let’s explain it briefly here.

Heavy Fine

If you are using pirated or counterfeit software, you may not get any problems unless the company knows. But if someone has reported your activity even the person who has sold it to you, it will be a big problem. In some countries, the laws are strict enough to face a condition where you have to pay a fine of up to $2500000 to the company.

Get Prisoned

Selling pirated software is a big crime that may lead you to jail. Normally, people don’t pay attention to these activities but companies who have copyrights for the software notice this.

Sometimes, such companies take help from authorized centers to find the black sheep who are selling their software in this version. So, the original author can take action against you or your company which may lead you to prison.

Harmful impacts of Using Pirated and Counterfeit Software

Till now, you have got an idea of what someone can do with you legally. But you are still unaware of the additional and related harmful impacts of using pirated and counterfeit software. Here we have enlisted a few for you.

Data loss

The most common harmful impact of using pirated software is data loss. Whenever you install software, you permit it to access your data. It may be needed to give you full access to the application or software. But when you install pirated software, it can delete or remove data from your device which will be a huge loss of your valuable data.


Another growing problem at this time because of using pirated software is blackmailing. Some third-party websites just launch their pirated software to hack the system of the users. When you permit them to access your data during installation, they will get into your device through their software. In turn, they will steal data from your device and use it for blackmailing.

Virus involvement

An older but still common problem that occurs because of pirated software is virus involvement. Such unauthorized copies of software may have a harmful virus that can damage your device. As a result, you may lose your device, data, or all other confidential information.

It may be a big problem because your information can be used by unauthorized officials. Undoubtedly, you can install and run an antivirus but it won’t work in the case of pirated software because of its complex interface and programming.

Permanent Ban

In recent times, many software companies have taken serious action against pirated software developers and users. The most common action is that such software just bans the users from their official platforms. It means that you will not be able to use the official software again if you have used their pirated software. This problem occurs when you have signed up for pirated software using your email or other related details.

Final Verdict

By reading the above blog, you must have understood what is the difference between pirated and counterfeit software. You have got an idea about the harmful impacts of using this software. It is time to keep your device safe and secure from such software and always install official software to keep your data safe.

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