This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series What does the Bible say about using pirated software?
Photo of a Person holding a Compact Disk on an Orange Background.

When the Computer became a standard Electronic Equipment in business, home, and even Church, software piracy and using pirated software also became a widespread issue either because the consumer couldn’t afford legitimate software or didn’t want to spend on software as much as he spends on hardware. Although we don’t address the sin of using pirated software from the pulpit, it’s a widespread issue in the Christian community also. Keep on reading to find out why and how to deal with it.

What does the world say?

It is important to understand the world’s point of view on using pirated software before discussing the biblical view. The world is divided on this. In brief, while the commercial software vendor defines software piracy and using pirated software as an illegal act involving unauthorized copying, reproduction, use, or manufacture of their software product(s), most consumers don’t agree for different reasons.

What does the Bible say?

Frankly, the Bible doesn’t say anything at all. This is not because God approves of using pirated software but the Bible was written at a time the Computer still had not been invented. Nevertheless, scriptures are relevant to all times and in them, we will find many implications that condemn using pirated software as well as software piracy itself if we searched the text with an open mind. Given below are just a few.

Piracy is Stealing

You cannot buy the software itself but a license to use the software. This makes using pirated software equivalent to using stolen goods. Clearly stealing is condemned in the Bible. (Exodus 22:7; Leviticus 6:2)

Piracy is Rebellion

Usage of pirated software in a country where unauthorized copying of software and usage as well as possession of such Software is rebellion against the authorities. (Romans 13:1)

Piracy is Depravity

The software doesn’t come into existence on its own. They are written by people who wish to make a profit. When we use pirated software we deprive those people of their wages. (Luke 10:7)

Final Remarks

If you still feel justified about your usage of pirated software, think about it this way. What will you feel if you were a commercial software developer and you knew your software program is being pirated? After all the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 7 verse, 12 quotes Jesus saying, ” In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets.” Food for thought!


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