Aug 08

How to Avoid Counterfeit Software (Part II)

Purchasing counterfeit software is too risky to be worthwhile, but it’s sometimes difficult to avoid even if you’re trying to purchase legitimate software. Counterfeiters go through great lengths to try to make their products look authentic. Here are some tips on how to tell the difference between counterfeits and the real deal.

First of all, there are the obvious signs: cheap price, crude packaging, lack of manufacturer’s logos, and poor English. Competing software companies don’t manufacture products onto the same CD. The presence of products from multiple manufacturers on one CD is a sure sign of a counterfeit. Also, legitimate companies don’t claim to be legal. A company that has to tell you that it’s legal probably isn’t.

Check how the software is marketed. OEMs (software only sold with new hardware), NFRs (not for resale), academic versions (only intended for teachers and students), or “backup copies” are not legal.

Take a good look at the website. See how long they have been in business and where the site is registered. Make sure the address bar on your browser displays a real domain name and not an IP address. Look for a land line phone number and a street address. Only non-legitimate companies will avoid contact with their customers.