YWAM England's policy on software use Software theft

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YWAM England's Policy on Software Use

Software theft involves the unauthorised copying of software without the permission or licence of the copyright owner. Youth With A Mission England intends to comply fully with all aspects of Software Legislation.

It is illegal to:

  1. Copy or distribute software or its documentation without the permission or licence of the copyright owner.
  2. Run purchased software on two or more computers simultaneously unless the licence specifically allows it.
  3. Knowingly or unknowingly allow, encourage or pressure employees to make or use illegal copies sources within the organisation.
  4. Infringe laws against unauthorised software copying because a superior, colleague or friend compels or requests it.
  5. Loan software in order that a copy be made of it.

Both individuals and companies may be convicted of piracy offences. Officers of a company are also liable to conviction if the offences were carried out by the company with their consent. On conviction, the guilty party can face imprisonment for up to two years (five in USA), an unlimited fine or both as well as being sued for copyright infringement (with no limit) by the copyright owner.

When software is upgraded it is generally the case that the licence accompanying the new version revokes the old version. This means that it is illegal to run both the old and new versions as only the new version is licensed.

Some people mistakenly think that, because it is so easy to make illegal copies of software, that it is less wrong than, say, stealing it from a shop. In fact, both actions deprive software producers of the income they need to continue their business and develop their products.

Software theft should be reported to the Federation Against Software Theft http://www.fast.org.uk

YWAM is Most Vulnerable to Corporate Over-Use

This is the installation of software packages on more machines than there are licences for. For example if a company purchases 5 single-user licences of a software program but installs the software on ten machines, then they will be using 5 infringing copies. Similarly, if a company is running a large network and more users have access to a software program than the company has licences for, there will be corporate over-use.


  • If there are no relevant software licence documents;
  • If the artwork on the media and packaging looks unprofessional;
  • If there is somebody else's details on the registration screens;
  • If the dealer is refusing to give you product the ID/ Serial number;
  • If the software being sold for a much lesser price than it should be.

Legitimate Use

Below are ten simple steps you should use to make sure you are buying legitimate software:

  1. Buy only from reputable dealers
  2. Get a written quote listing hardware/software specification and version
  3. Make sure you get an itemised invoice giving details of all hardware and software supplied
  4. Make sure you get software licences - these are important documents
  5. Once you have bought your hardware do not allow dealers to install software onto your computer without them providing licences, etc.
  6. Remember even Shareware must be deleted or purchased after the initial evaluation period
  7. If possible buy from a dealer recommended by the publisher
  8. Make sure that you understand that bundle software may come pre-installed on your computer and you may not receive the media (installation disc and manual)
  9. If in doubt ask for help
  10. Contact FAST For further advice please see http://www.fast.org.uk

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