Softlifting is a common type of software piracy in which a legally licensed software program is installed or copied in violation of its licensing agreement. Unlike commercial piracy, the purpose of softlifting is to provide the program to multiple users rather than to sell copies for profit. Softlifting is also known as end user piracy or softloading.
The most common examples of softlifting are:
- Providing software to more corporate users than are covered by the license agreement.
- Installing software licensed to an organization on home-based computers.
- Sharing software among friends.
Softlifting is the most common type of software piracy within the enterprise. According to the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a trade association for the software and digital content industry, one in four copies of business software in the United States is used illegally.