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Internet software piracy refers to any illegal and/or unauthorized use of electronic copyrighted materials through deliberate copying and/or distribution, whether deliberately or not, or for profit/not for profit.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing systems are the primary culprit in Internet software piracy. Counterfeit software sold through online auction sites is another form of Internet software piracy. Internet software piracy occurs any time the Internet is used for the express purposes of selling, sharing or otherwise acquiring protected creative works.
Internet software piracy covers a very broad realm. Proper licensing must be secured for the copying, distribution or use of copyrighted digital materials.
Internet software piracy is a crime that is nearly impossible to control. However, it is on the rise, as perpetrator efforts become more clandestine and varied. Both malicious and deliberate users of digitally protected copyrighted materials can be pursued and caught through anti-piracy stings conducted by the FBI and other government agencies.