The losses suffered as a result of software piracy directly affect the profitability of the software industry. Because of the money lost to pirates, publishers have fewer resources to devote to research and development of new products, have less revenue to justify lowering software prices and are forced to pass these costs on to their customers. Consequently, software publishers, developers, and vendors are taking serious actions to protect their revenues.
Using pirated software is also risky for users. Aside from the legal consequences of using pirated software, users of pirated software forfeit some practical benefits as well. Those who use pirate software:
- Increase the chances that the software will not function correctly or will fail completely;
- Forfeit access to customer support, upgrades, technical documentation, training, and bug fixes;
- Have no warranty to protect themselves;
- Increase their risk of exposure to a debilitating virus that can destroy valuable data;
- May find that the software is actually an outdated version, a beta (test) version, or a nonfunctioning copy;
- Are subject to significant fines for copyright infringement; and
- Risk potential negative publicity and public and private embarrassment.
It is also worth noting that the use of pirated software also drives up the costs for legitimate users - which gives legitimate users all the more reason to help fight piracy by reporting to SIIA those organizations and individuals who are not "playing by the rules."