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Bootleg software is software applications that are illegally distributed or sold. Some also consider music, audio and video also as part of bootleg software. It is synonymous with piracy, and there are many laws which prohibit and restrict the sale of bootleg software. Bootleg software is a major issue in the digital world.
Bootleg software is sold or distributed without the required permission from the trademark or copyright holder/owner. Software is also considered bootleg software when it is legally installed on one computer, but copies of the software are installed on other computers, when the license prohibits installation on more than one computer.
Common activities related to bootleg software include recording, copying, distribution and sale of contents, and are mostly done through online or electronic media. There are times that individuals as well enterprises purchase bootleg software unknowingly. Bootleg software can cause huge losses of money and reputation for software application developers as well as distributors, as often the illegal copies are sold at lower prices.
Across the world, bootlegging is punishable – often by heavy fines and jail time – as bootleg software can be prosecuted under copyright infringement laws.