What is the risk of an entrepreneur for pirated software in the company?


In the company, we use various types of software on a daily basis. Some of them are purchased in a traditional form with a unique license key or used online, but there are also cases of using illegal versions of the programs or exceeding the terms and conditions of the license agreement - it is pirated software.

Pirate software in the company - consequences

Both the entrepreneur and the private person who legally acquires the program are thus entitled to use the program to a certain extent. If the user distributes, installs or duplicates the computer program in violation of the license agreement or otherwise violates its terms, he / she infringes the copyrights to the software. Such behavior may be considered a crime - the so-called computer piracy, to which the provisions of the Criminal Code and the Act on Copyright and Related Rights apply.



Entrepreneurs using free software in their company should be aware that such action may also generate tax consequences.

The nature of the responsibility and the type of punishment for the committed actions depend on the specific situation. The provisions of the Penal Code and the Act on Copyright and Related Rights apply here.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Penal Code (Art. 293 of the Penal Code), purchasing pirated software may constitute trading in stolen goods, punishable by up to 5 years' imprisonment. Even if the buyer is not sure whether the program is legal or not. However, based on the circumstances accompanying the purchases, he should assume what the source of the program is (e.g. at the time of purchasing the CD with the program at the bazaar). The regulations also provide, depending on the circumstances, that the penalty for the so-called computer piracy will be either milder or more severe; and also defines responsibility for other prohibited activities related to the broadly understood illegal software.

The Penal Code provides for a fine, restriction of liberty for up to 12 months, imprisonment for a period from 3 months to 5 years and the seizure of data carriers, computers and servers for those responsible.

The Act on Copyright and Related Rights in Art. 116 also provides for a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment for up to 2 years for such behavior. If the perpetrator acted in order to gain financial gain, the punishment is much more severe - in this case, he may be imprisoned for up to 3 years. However, when these acts are performed unintentionally, he or she is subject to a fine, the penalty of restriction of liberty or the penalty of deprivation of liberty for up to one year.

Additionally, a software producer whose rights have been infringed may file a number of claims under Art. 79. He has the right to demand that he stop using the program, or pay compensation in the amount of twice the fee that would be payable for granting a license for such a program.

Under the Labor Code, Art. 120 § 1 it is the employer who is responsible for the software installed in the company's computers. Regardless of whether the employee has committed the prohibited act or the entrepreneur himself. Therefore, the employer should take special precautions when hiring employees. Information about the prohibition of installing any software on the company's computer should be provided in the form of a written instruction. Another very effective method is a lock that prevents installation. For violating the rules, the employer may hold the employee financially responsible and even dismiss him / her with disciplinary action.