A example of software piracy is when you download a copy of Microsoft Word from a file-sharing website without paying for it.
Software Piracy - Computer Definition
Unauthorized copying of some purchased software. Most software programs purchased are licensed for use by just one user or at just one computer site. Moreover, when someone buys software, he or she is known as a “licensed user” rather than as an owner of the software. As a licensed user, an individual is permitted to make copies of the software program for back-up purposes only. It is a violation of copyright laws in North America, in particular, to freely distribute software copies.
Because software piracy is all but impossible to halt entirely, software companies now launch legal suits against individuals violating software copyright laws. Years ago, software companies attempted to prevent software piracy by copy-protecting software, but this strategy was neither foolproof nor convenient for users. Software companies typically require registration at the time of software purchase in an attempt to clamp down on the problem.
See Also: Copyright Laws; Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Jupitermedia Corporation. What is Software Piracy? [Online, October 9, 2003.] http://www.pcwebopedia.com/TERM/S/software_piracy.html.
The illegal copying of software for distribution within the organization, or to friends, clubs and other groups, or for duplication and resale. The software industry loses billions of dollars each year to piracy, and although it may seem innocent enough to install an application on a couple of additional machines (called "softloading" and "softlifting"), it may ultimately shatter the profitability of a small software company. Software piracy is a major issue in the U.S. and Europe, but it is rampant in the rest of the world where major applications are routinely copied by the thousands for resale. See warez, piracy investigator, NET Act and SIIA.