The entertainment industry isn’t the only group of businesses fighting against internet piracy these days. Many software developers have learned the hard way that they can lose lots of money when pirates start circulating the programs that they spent countless hours writing. Although it is very difficult to prevent determined pirates from breaking the law, there are a few steps that you can take to help protect yourself from copyright infringement.
Copyright for Your Software
If you can’t prove that you own the rights to your software, then you can’t do anything to prevent pirates from stealing it. You should, therefore, copyright your work before releasing it to the public. Copyright your program even if you only plan to send out a beta version to a select test market. Even if you trust the program testers, you should always make sure that you are protected. After all, they might share a work space with people you don’t know.
You can protect yourself from software pirates by requiring everyone to register before using the program. This does not really stop them from copying the software, but it does prevent them from using it. There are, of course, ways around registration requirements. Pirates refer to these methods as cracks. Making a crack, however, takes some time and dedication. Only a small number of people have the skills to open and use software without registration. That can drastically reduce the number of people using your programs illegally.
Offer Limited-Use Trial Software
You can also limit theft by giving internet users free access to a trial version of your software. This allows them to try the programs before they purchase it, which means that wary consumers don’t have to download pirated versions to make sure they want to pay for your software. Limited-use versions often give users access to the software’s basic functions without allowing them to use advanced options or save their work.