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Let's talk about Piracy!

And we’re back on the old topic of software piracy.

Let's get one thing straight - you never own the software. You purchase a right to use the software, called a license. Licenses come in different flavours, but ultimately the license is linked to a specific person or company. Anything other than compliant usage by the licensee constitutes license noncompliance

So what is non-compliant usage?

1. You're using a non-commercial license (like an academic/educational or research license) for commercial use.

2. You're using your license outside the country where you bought it (there are special license types that allow for this, but typically people do not buy them – OR even tell us that this is what they want to do)

3. You crack (circumvent the licensing mechanism) to gain access to the software without paying for it.

Please note: simply trying to circumvent the mechanism constitutes cracking, even if you are unsuccessful. Also note: if you purchase and then use a cracked license, you are also committing an offence and are legally liable.

Licenses for CAD software are often deemed "expensive". *eye roll into the next dimension* If you're paying R350 bucks for a CAD system, you better believe it is cracked and your neck is on the line. You should be purchasing these licenses from reputable, registered, official resellers of the software, not some rando off Facebook or Gumtree. Also - you can't resell your license. It’s not a tradable item. It's a license. And It's not yours to sell, only yours to use.

You pay for what you have access to, not for what you use: it's like renting a car - you can't say, the car has 4 seats but I only used one so therefore I should pay less. It's the same- the software comes with ALL these functions. That is what you pay for. If you only want to make a block with a hole, well that’s just a great cupcake... But when you pirate the software, by default you unlock ALL the features and so now you are liable for all of it, and not just the block and hole you made…

Piracy is a crime, and you don't have to do it. You have options:

So what happens when you get caught pirating? You will get caught. At some point, in some way, you will get caught. It’s just a matter of time. Software dev is a fast-moving world and protecting IP is a big deal for software developers/licensors. So while the technology to detect piracy is already very good, it's going to get even better. That means catching pirates will become even more commonplace.

First, you'll get a lawyer's letter informing you that you've been caught, and you must cease and desist the pirating, immediately, and that you are liable to pay reparations, and Dassault or one of its representatives (VAR, like us) will be contacting you shortly. This is all in line with local SA and International law regarding cybercrimes and copyright transgressions. Not the most ideal way to start the relationship with the software OEM or its resellers…

Then you'll either get a call or an email from the License Compliance department at Dassault, to follow up on the letter and inform you of what you owe - this is based on which products from the portfolio you have pirated. They will assign your case to a reseller to handle the transaction – which is called "regularisation".

If you decide to fight the case for whatever reason, you could find yourself at the wrong end of a legal case and in court. If you lose, and that's very likely since the evidence is pretty much irrefutable typically, you'll find yourself with a criminal record for copyright infringement and/or software piracy. Oh, and you could end up in jail for up to 15 years. Maybe paying for the software monthly is something better than going to court and possibly jail? You also can't use the argument that you purchased the software legally when it didn't come from an authorised reseller. Don't be dof.

Oh, and if it "wasn't you, but someone connecting to your network", well... As company owner, you are still liable and you should have had an ironclad IT policy in place. One that every employee and guest onto your network signs with the basic understanding: “You get caught pirating, you pay.” Simple.

So, reach out to us to understand your options before you get caught. We can help you get SOLIDWORKS legally and easily, and on a monthly payment scheme that’s much easier to manage.

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