Technically, internet is a hub of computers which are connected to each other such that they can all share information amongst themselves without having to physically be present near the system. While this may sound great to people who are actually sharing the files, it may not be the same for the one who is selling it in the market at a cost. With this technique, the receiver can get an item for free which under normal circumstances he would have paid for. This is known as piracy and amounts to huge losses to businessmen across the world.
As a part of an organization selling a product on the internet, it is important for you to make sure that the product is not available for anyone to download at just a click (static link). Static links can easily be cached by the search engines which would actually mean every tom dick and harry downloading the product for free. For example, suppose an anti virus company is selling anti virus software for $50 but has done the mistake of placing a static download link on their website. Even of 200 people download this software, the company can be looking at a loss of $10,000.
The solution to this problem is getting a download manager which allows the website manager to avoid construction of a simple download link. Such software creates a new link for anyone who is authorized to view the data and the link becomes invalid post completion of data transfer. Another option is to password protect the system and the resources present on it so only authorized users can gain access to it. Applications like winzip, PFD Creators etc. offer this feature which can easily be exploited. With the password in place, even if someone does manage to download the product, they would not be able to use it unless they get the key from the seller.
One may also do a simple search on any one of the search engines to find out that their product is already being pirated from other hosting locations present throughout the world. While the American government can control what is happening inside USA, they cannot deal with those who are located elsewhere. The maximum that one can do is to contact that hosting agency and ask them not to sell your product on their servers (provide them with ample evidence that it really is theirs). If they are lucky and the host does listen, it will be removed, else it will just fall to deaf ears and nothing will happen about it.
The respite here is the fact that if someone downloads items from sites which promote piracy, there is a good chance that they won’t be buying the product on their own anyways. This factually means that they never were real customers and hence the losses actually aren’t actually losses. Apart from taking precautions, there really is not much that can be done about it. For example, precautions would mean selling the product to people under a license that if the product is pirated with their serial key, they can be held liable.