With the rapid entry of the computers and especially the internet into human life, software has gained vital importance in the trade life. The software used in many areas has become a compulsory element for companies and businesses to trade. In addition, the number of companies producing software has increased rapidly, and companies producing creative and critical software have gained the opportunity to become world giants in a short time.
High software prices and easy access to counterfeit software have resulted in illegal use of software in the face of the need for these software. As it is known, it is a fact that misuse of the internet as well as its useful use and various crimes are committed in this way. Just like in real life… Therefore, punishments for crimes committed in the internet and on digital platforms are envisaged, just as in criminal life.
What happens if a software is used unlicensed?
Using unlicensed software constitutes the crime of rape to the Spiritual, financial or related rights stipulated in Article 71 of the Intellectual and Artistic Works Code.
What is the punishment for this crime?
In accordance with Intellectual and Artistic Works Code article: 71; One to five years' imprisonment or judicial fine shall be imposed for the person who sells, leases or lends or otherwise distributes unlicensed software, purchases, imports or exports for commercial purposes, possesses or stores it for personal purposes.
Since this crime is related to the complaint, companies with software often give up the complaint in exchange of the crime's purchasing the license and paying some compensation. However, using unlicensed software will result in the payment of many times more money to be paid if a license was obtained. For this reason, commercial uses must be licensed. There have been companies that have gone bankruptcy to pay fines or compensation due to a simple action, such as using unlicensed software, which indicates that using unlicensed software is a wrong move commercially.
What is the crime of using unlicensed software?
First of all, the actions that give rise to crime such as using unlicensed software, purchasing and keeping should be done for "commercial" purposes. For example, the fact that the drawing program is used without license in an architectural firm constitutes a crime, but it is not a crime that an architecture student uses only an unlicensed program on his personal computer to do his homework.
The other factor is that the software is not properly licensed for its fee. For example, if a license is obtained for use on two computers and it is used on four computers, then unlicensed use will also occur.
How Unlicensed Use Will Be Detected?
It is seen that the people and the owners of the companies, who are investigated about the use of unlicensed software in general, think that they will not be caught and that they cannot be detected, and that they use unlicensed software as they do not consider giving money to the license commercially. This is extremely wrong and unlicensed use is very easy to detect.
- Notice: Notices are made by competitors or those who use licensed software and when they see some others are using unlicensed software, they think it is unfair to them. From time to time, for the awards to be given by the licensed firms, and sometimes the staff who are dismissed from the work can give the notice.
- Complaints of licensing firms: Licensing firms detect usage on the internet or by employees in the field, sometimes by going to the relevant firms in the guise of customers. If the license is not sold to the company that appears to be using the program, it is easily understood that the usage is unlicensed.
- As a result of a notice or complaint, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office begins an investigation, and by taking the decision to search, the company using unlicensed software is searched through the police or gendarmerie and the computers are examined. In this way, a crime is detected and criminal cases are brought against the interests.
As a result of the use of unlicensed software, besides the criminal case, compensation cases are also opened by the licensed companies and those who use unlicensed software both have to get fines and have to pay compensation. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make sure that all the software you use on your computers are licensed.