Digital Karma & Software Piracy

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have a thought in my mind which has kept me busy for a while. Most of the software that we use is pirated on our computers, we also download MP3s from the internet and movies as well.  In fact many copy righted material is also uploaded on Youtube such as full length movies which eventually gets pulled down by Youtube after the producer files a complaint.

Pirated software is what we download from the net instead of paying the company who made the software, and we find ways and means of activating it instead of buying the serial or license from the manufactures.

So What i want to know is that - isn't using pirated software wrong, even though many of us use it innocently or it comes installed on our computer or sometimes friends pass on software on CDs etc., at work or college. Won't this create Bad Karma.

Also would we get Bad Karma by downloading copy righted videos or audios or watching movies on unauthorised sites?

Kindly clarify because sometimes I feel piracy is okay and happens -

1. As manufactures charge a lot for their products, exhorbitantly sometimes

2. Many companies with whom we entrust our Data or information use it in other ways or sell it, so software piracy happens due their Karma of not safeguarding our information.

Please clarify this.  At Present my computer uses only freely available or open source applications.

In service


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  • hare krishna...

    this is puzzling my brain prabhu...because, most of us do that .but that happens only in our country i suppose,hopefully im correct!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

    since they same its a crime...then its a crime that's all there is no other option to escape from accepting the results for the deeds  we have did whether its good or bad...

    all the elders of our hindu sanatana dharma summerized the moral of our vedas and upanishads and epics and said only the whole thing in one sentence "SATYAM VADHA DHARMAM CHARA"live a dharmik life(i.e., to be true with ur work) and support the truth....and thats more than enough attain the lotus feet of the lord...

     be good ,do good and tell the truth this is the only dharma what god needs by man to be done and that is my helps us to concentrate on our life which can be a dharmik one...

    as these softwares are quite costly if they are the most  retailers suggest the customer to take the pirated can help it but ha....pirated movies and cds can be stopped because they cause a major loss to the tele and film industry........

    this was my opinion and suggestion, hopefully i have served ur purpose .any more doubts u can ask me.

    hare krishna

  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna

    Isn't using pirated software wrong ? Won't this create Bad Karma ?

    Yes it is wrong. It it bad karma. It is capable of giving us bad reactions.


    1. Use open source

    2. Use pirated software only for Krsna's service.

    Many companies with whom we entrust our Data or information use it in other ways or sell it, so software piracy happens due their Karma of not safeguarding our information.

    If they do it without our permission it is bad for them. But many times users willingly or carelessly give the data. In any case it doesnt cancel the bad karmas, both will get. That is how karma works.

    The way the world is developing, there could be penalization for these things. Not very difficult. Govt has my adhaar, adhaar is my biometric, adhaar is linked to mobile, internet connection, adhaar is linked to my bank account. I use pirated software, ISPs or software owners know it, they will get my connection details, they will get my indentity, they can penalise me.

    Presently this happens only to large businesses. This isnt happening now for individuals because 1. It will be more expensive for software companies to perform this litigation. 2. The legal system is not conducive, it has loop holes.

    But I expect this to happen in future.

    Personally I am planning to move to open source in a phased manner.

    YAS Bharat

  • Hare Krishna,

           I don't know what to say. I am from outskirts of Chennai and without doubt if I want to buy all the software I need, it is impossible for me as I have to convert Dollar into rupees. In the present Indian condition paying such an huge amount for all the software for a middle class average Indian seems not a good idea. At the same time in today's world one cannot exist without technology. Paying such a huge amount for all the software is also not possible. 

           Being in Kaiiyuga certain mistakes have became "NORMAL AND JUSTIFIABLE" for everybody. Today committing a murder will shock your friends. But possibly after 2 or 3 lakh years in Kali yuga committing murder will be "NORMAL AND JUSTIFIABLE" like pirated software's today, because there is going to be no food. However the above doesn't justify piracy. 



  • Chant Hare Krishna and follow the four regulative principles .

    Don't worry about pirated softwares . The so called people are actually manufacturing all this machines and virtual products by stealing Krishna's Energy . So actually they are Pirates .

    Krishna don't ask for money if you pick fruits from Trees and offer to Him . Infact he is providing food and so many things to even non devotees and all other living organisms .

    But if you go to Google Play store and just download a virtual wallpaper of Apple , they will ask for money !

    So don't worry much about all this virtual piracy . Just do it as a service for Father Krishna .

    Yes , when its about to buy a devotee product , try your best to pay then Pirate . Till now , i must have downloaded so many softwared legally or by tricks . But once I saw a Krishna Conscious video game - " Krishna - The Butter Theif " . That's the best game i have ever seen on Krishna . It is developed by Gaura Games . I played the demo version . Again and again . Only 6 free levels out of 40 . But i never tried to get full version by hacking , tricks or via piracy . I will better buy that .

    So just use your intelligence . And apply properly . Don't get so much bewildered by mode of goodness . Such goodness will not be appreciated . Its just like Yudhistir Maharaj hesitating to tell a lie in the battlefield of Mahabharata .

    Thanks .
    Krishnaputra .

    Hare Krishna.
    • well said prabhu!

      @Arun Chadda Prabhuji,

      we not adults materially-bodily. But we are thieves. I am not supporting piracy instead the builder originally(if not offers the end product to Krishna) is a thief. 

      We are just connecting him to supreme so that everything is used properly. He will get indirect good result. But ultimately he is stealing. And also, I am not asking for burgulary or stealing. just use for Krishna if its hard on pocket by getting it from some source which is easy. if payment is easy—use otherwise do not. 

      In US and all, we have strict rules for piracy so we will use any software by paying only. But in other parts of the world, why to pay to a thief, who is claiming to be the original?

  • Hari bol :)

    As Mathaji said. Your post and thought immediately attracted my attention. 

    Anytype of stealing is bad and for sure it brings bad-karma. Now, as Prabhupoada says-people whomsoever is there-They are stealing money and not giving to Krishna and devotees take from them.

    So, as I remember in a class-a senior devotee told that if we use the things made by someone in service of Krishna-that person gets good karma, although indirectly because Krishna is very merciful. 

    So, in temples and all we use pirated softwares and this way devotees bring auspiciousness to the original company but if a normal person does stealing it brings bad karmas for them. As both, the original creator of software(the main instrument used by Krishna) and stealer are not offering to Krishna-the supreme enjoyer; they have to gewt bind in this material world.

    Prabhupada gives another example of a son who steals money and brings chocolotae from the father's money and before taking he offers to the father. Now think how father will react? Obviously, he will be happy. Similarly this small things devotees offer to Krishna and Karma is closed but if used for selfish purpose, not for Krishna, it will bind him/her. 

    Hope it answers. 

    Hari Bol:)

    Jaya Prabhupada!!!

  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,


    Honestly, your post got me thinking. Honestly prabhuji, I dont have any scriptural reference to this karma will result in that reaction or something like that.

    What I understood from your post is how complicated karma kanda can be and how, even if we dont try, we will still end up doing some karma or the other which will give reaction.

    My net conclusion is that - one should not try to understand karma and its reactions and move one's energies to understand how to get out of this cycle of birth and death. That is the only solution. Every thing is karma, has reaction. Better to do devotional activity and get out.

    If we are using the software in the service of the lord, then its ok. Dovetail all resources in the service of the lord for avoiding reactions to karma prabhuji.


    Your servant,

    Radha Rasamayi DD

    • I like "use for God's service" phylosafie. However, expecting to migrate is an imposition to my way of thinking, as a other train of thought tells me to know GOD by knowing myself, & with those understandings things will impruve!? Chang is sure enough without hankering for it!? Perfect is serving as we are. Wherever we are and more & more!? Wailing up the sleepy Souls !-!air bola
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