On this page you will learn:

- About the risks of buying counterfeit software

- Different types of counterfeit

The problem
Unfortunately it is incredibly easy to purchase counterfeit software and licensing in the belief that it is genuine.

Below are examples of counterfeit licensing, all of which must be avoided.

We show you how to avoid purchasing counterfeit in our How to do SAM section - Buy genuine software

Examples of counterfeit software
Classic counterfeiting - literally the recreation of legitimate product to a standard that would surprise you.  We have been trained in what to look for and can assure you that most of the time you cannot tell the difference.  With every new security device that the publishers dream up, the counterfeiters find a way of reproducing extremely good copies.

Internet piracy - these 'companies' get hold of the relevant software media and simply load it onto a server from which you can download a copy.  Not surprisingly the prices offered are substantially lower than genuine pricing.  Usually the licence type offered is OEM or boxed product.  There is nothing legitimate about the licences you receive from these companies, if you receive anything at all.

Real licences in the wrong place
Grey Market or 'parallel import' - Living in Europe we have the privilege of paying more than anyone else on the planet for software licences.  So some resellers think it wise to import genuine product from other parts of the world and sell it in Europe.  It is genuine in the sense that it has been manufactured by the software publisher, but it is invalid from a legal perspective because of where it is sold and used.

And with recent price reductions in Asia in the hope of combating counterfeit software use, grey imports from the East are on the rise.

Mischanneling - similar to the grey-market but between different channels as opposed to countries.  Examples would be academic licensing sold in the corporate sector, or high volume licensing sold in the low volume sector.

The value of counterfeit licensing?
In the case of counterfeit software all the money spent is completely wasted, the licences simply have to be bought again in any audit situation.

And purchasing software ‘in good faith’ from a ‘recognised’ reseller does not mean that you are guaranteed a legitimate product.

If you do end up with dodgy goods, should any publisher take an interest in your organisation and a shortfall of licences is shown, you will simply have to repurchase the required number of licences legitimately with no credit given for any past non-legitimate purchase.

It is as if you have never purchased anything at all.

Next we look at The upgrade trap...