Compliance & Enforcement

Unlicensed software is unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted software. It includes downloading, sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies of licensed software. Unlicensed software use also includes license infringement – installing a piece of software more times than the license permits – as well as sharing software license codes, uploading software codes to websites so others can download and use it, sharing software license codes or activation keys, as well as user IDs and passwords for web-based software applications. 

Unlicensed software use is illegal and can result in both civil as well as criminal penalties. It exposes businesses and consumers to security threats including malware, ransomware, spyware and viruses, and leads to decreased efficiencies in organizations. Those who are aware of unlicensed software use at end-user organizations are encouraged to report it to BSA through our confidential online reporting site at