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" Warez are copyrighted works distributed without fees or royalties, generally unauthorized releases by organized groups. "

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Legality of Warez

Warez is often a form of copyright infringement punishable as either a civil wrong or a crime. The laws and their application to warez activities may vary greatly from country to country. Generally, however, there are four elements of criminal copyright infringement: the existence of a valid copyright, that copyright was infringed, the infringement was willful and the infringement was either for commercial gain or substantial (a level often set by statute). Often public sites such as pages hosting torrent files claim that they are not breaking any laws because they are not offering the actual data but link only to other places or peers that contain the infringing material.

In addition, nearly all Web providers do not permit the hosting of warez, and will delete any site found to be hosting them.

Depending on the country, in some cases, software piracy might become legal and encouraged. As a dispute between Iran and USA over membership in WTO, and subsequent blocking of Iran's attempts at full-membership in the organization by the USA, has led Iran to encourage US software piracy. Subsequently, there has been a surge in Iranian "warez" and "crackz" websites, as unlike other countries, the Iranian laws do not forbid hosting them inside Iran. See: Iran and copyright issues

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References: Wikipedia, Warez Groups

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