Software piracy is defined as illegally copying software that does not belong to you in a manner that violates the copyright.
A example of software piracy is when you download a copy of Microsoft Word from a file-sharing website without paying for it.
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.
Jupitermedia Corporation. What is Software Piracy? [Online, October 9, 2003.] http://www.pcwebopedia.com/TERM/S/software_piracy.html.