What is software piracy?
We own the majority of our software and are licensed to use certain software modules owned by other companies, specifically WHMCS software provided by WHMCS Limited (UK). All this software is protected by intellectual property rights legislation, the software itself is protected by copyright, and the product name and our company name are either registered or unregistered trade marks.
Software piracy involves making, buying or using software in a way that infringes intellectual property rights legislation and/or in a way that breaches the terms of our Software or WHMCS software and Services Agreement and/or in a way that breaches our copyright.
Software piracy takes various forms, ranging from producing counterfeit software to sharing software with a colleague beyond the scope of the licenses purchased.
We are committed to protecting the quality and integrity of our software and/or WHMCS Software. Software piracy impacts not just on us but also on the legitimate business of WHMCS, our partners and associates and also puts our customers at risk of legal action.
If you obtain WHMCS Smarters products from any source other than us, or install more copies than you have been licensed to use by us, then you run the risk that you and/or your business may be sued or prosecuted for infringement of copyright. Prosecution may result in an unlimited fine and/or up to 10 years imprisonment.
Examples of software piracy
A customer, without our permission, buys our software from a source other than us or an authorised reseller, for example from a business that has become insolvent, from an internet auction site, from an unrelated business or company, or from a newly formed company controlled by different owners from the previous business. Because the software was originally licensed to the person who purchased the license, and because our licence agreements are not transferable without our knowledge and consent, the person or business who has acquired the software from an unauthorised source will be unlicensed by us, and is therefore infringing the copyright in our software.
A customer makes illegal copies of our software, for example by installing more copies of the software than their licence permits. This is a breach of our licence terms as well as copyright infringement.
How to report piracy
If you become aware of piracy of our software, please report it to us by sending an email to [email protected]
We will need as much of the following information as possible:-
- The name, address and telephone number of the business you suspect of piracy and the name of the person there we should contact.
- Details of the piracy of our software. What is happening and what evidence you have of the piracy, such as documents (including emails), copies of counterfeit software or other evidence.
- Your details. Name, address and telephone number if possible.
The information you give to us may be disclosed in any court proceedings and/or passed to the relevant enforcement authorities.
If you give us your name, address and telephone number, we will treat them as confidential and as having been given to us only for the purpose of our investigations, although we will disclose them if it is necessary or required of us in the context of actual or threatened legal proceedings or by enforcement authorities.
We may contact you to ask further questions and may also ask you to give evidence in any legal action. Any expenses you reasonably incur in assisting us in this manner will be met in full by us.
What we’ll do
Piracy of our software will not be tolerated, and we will not hesitate to take swift legal action and/or to report misuse to any interested party or to the relevant enforcement authorities. We will consider all complaints made and take appropriate action if necessary through our solicitors.
We can’t guarantee an immediate response as investigating allegations can be a time consuming process, but we do value your help and will take each report very seriously.
Once reported, we may take some or all of the following actions:
- A request for a software audit;
- An application to Court for pre-action disclosure of documents;
- Application to Court for a Search and Seizure Order
- Court proceedings for breach of the terms of our software license and/or infringement of our intellectual property rights
- Referral to Trading Standards Departments to investigate and prosecute trade mark infringement
- Referral to the police to investigate and prosecute copyright infringement