Software piracy dwells in the shadows of the legitimate IT industry, so it might surprise some to learn what a glaring impact it has on consumers, businesses and economies. Because software pirates’ ability to sell non-genuine products is largely dependent upon secrecy, awareness is power in fighting this widespread problem.

Today, Microsoft is flipping the light switch on. It’s Play Fair Day, a day dedicated to equipping consumers with information about the risks of using non-genuine software, most often unknowingly, and the far-reaching benefits of using legitimate software. We want the public to understand that criminals selling non-genuine software create an unfair marketplace, where principled businesses cannot effectively compete and consumers and economies suffer. 

The illegal trade and sale of non-genuine software means that a portion of consumer dollars for software are spent with illegitimate vendors, causing local tax revenues and jobs to disappear. In addition consumers and businesses that buy or use software illegally are subject to other serious risks and disadvantages like:

  • Identity and financial fraud: Counterfeit software poses a significant risk of identity theft and subsequent financial loss.
  • Financial consequences: Counterfeit software exposes computers to virus and malware attacks, causing businesses to suffer financial consequences due to loss of data and productivity.
  • Fewer new software products: To combat piracy, legitimate businesses must invest resources to protect market share that could otherwise fund product innovations that benefit end users.

Despite how threatening the risks are, we would like the public to be motivated by the many advantages of using genuine software, and the peace of mind that comes with simply doing the right thing.  There are numerous benefits to using genuine, fully-licensed Microsoft software including:

  • A seamless experience: Users get the computing experience they expect and deserve from Microsoft without exposure to potential IT security risks and associated frustrations. 
  • Economic gains: Legitimate technology businesses create jobs and provide tax revenue, which supports healthy economic growth within communities.
  • Business advantages: Users of genuine software can easily track, deploy and keep software licenses current while gaining access to ongoing technical assistance and upgrades to keep the rhythm of business steady.

Let’s all use Play Fair Day to renew our commitment to fighting the spread of counterfeit and illegal software trade and use. Shine the light on the issue for those you know and conduct business with by encouraging them to visit www.microsoft.com/piracy/ for more information about brighter futures through piracy protection and legal software use.