How bad is pirated software

Is it safe or very dangerous

Talk about piracy is dancing on the TOS line here, but since people will do it regardless I might as well answer just enough so that the people who do pirate anyway might not be screwed. I will not give any sources for obvious reasons. If you aren’t willing to search for yourself then best to avoid taking the risk.

Generally you have to be very careful where you get software from. Piratebay for example is infested with malicious software. Keygens are 99% of the time malware. Some sources have good reputations but it’s always best to ask around on the appropriate forums. Keep backups of important data that is not connected to your device, if you are infected by malware you can reinstall your operating system and not lose your most important details.

You are always taking a big risk when pirating software. One thing that is often recommended is using virtual machines to test the software, and use tools like virustotal to scan files. Try to look into FOSS alternatives first as well to see if you can get away with not having to pirate anything, is a nice place to look for alternatives to software you want to use.

I would say extremely dangerous

You have no idea where it came from or who/what/how it may have been tampered with. Either find a FOSS version or just pay for it.

Also people/companies that develop software you use deserve to be compensated for the work they did to create and maintain that software.

Also people/companies that develop software you use deserve to be compensated for the work they did to create and maintain that software.

Realistically the piracy does not end up harming the developers. Whether you pirate the software or go to a FOSS alternative, either way they don’t get the money. And even if they did, it just goes to the pockets of the rich suit-wearing bastards instead of the people actually doing the work. It’s horrible and should not be that way, but it is.

The idea that digital software is not valuable is incorrect and harmful. Developing software involves significant costs, including the use of advanced technology, the work of numerous experts, and the time and resources invested in the development process. In a market economy, exchanging money for goods and services is an essential mechanism, and when people access software through illegal means, they are taking it without proper compensation to the creators, effectively stealing.

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Where, exactly, do you think the money that pays the developers paychecks comes from?

Pirating in general is quiet a gamble, only use it as your last resort but like one of the replies, try to find FOSS alternative if possible.

You had to trust that you are getting something you asked for and not going to get your computer fucked.

It’s dangerous ofcourse. It can range from having anything a Shell executable to fucking Wannacry.
Do not try installing one of those in your workstation for god’s sake.

There are open source cracking scripts for some programs on GitHub, e.g. for Windows and Microsoft Office. With these, you download the software from the official source, and the part that does the cracking is open source, so you can look at it and verify that it’s not malicious (if you have the required knowledge).
Downloading pre-cracked software is pretty dangerous though, because it is inofficial and could contain malware.

My 2 cents, at least try free and open source software first. If you’re asking this question, I’m going to guess that you’re relatively early on in your technical skills (not that I know a lot). If you’re not sure about how safe this is, just stick to FOSS. Depending on what you’re trying to do, FOSS can be a more than adequate solution, and one that many people don’t realize is there.

It comes from people who pay for the software.
However, it is not conclusive that piracy harms sales.

I never suggested software can’t be valuable, this is a strawman. See my other reply regarding lack of evidence that piracy harms sales. And no, piracy does not really qualify as stealing since original owners are not deprived of the software. If someone “steals” your car but you still see it in your driveway, was it really stolen? I argue no.

I argue otherwise.
Piracy is simply theft. The notion that somehow digital products can’t be stolen because it’s not as tangible as a car or a piece of clothing is both inaccurate and damaging. Digital products contain “manufacturing” costs. In the case of digital software it’s the many years, the massive amount of equipment and the hundreds of skilled professionals it takes to make the product.

Also, one study cannot be used to conclude that piracy does not harm sales. There are also many other studies supporting the opposing view.

There can be many reason to “pirate” a piece of digital media or software, for example students may want to pirate books because their financial status don’t allow for the privilege of buying a physical copy of the book, or people may want to pirate a piece of media because the government has imposed a ban on the media, or small studios unable to keep up with the price of the ever increasing subscription prices for Adobe’s software… There could be multiple valid reasons why one would pirate.

Discussing the ethics of piracy seems to stray from the original topic. Nevertheless, I think there are both permissible and impermissible reasons for pirating (software, movies, books, etc.) and lumping them all together would be a bit mistake. Of course, legality and ethics are two different things.

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