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The term Warez is generally used online to describe pirated content. Most commonly, warez applies to hacked software that can be downloaded for free. To beat copy protection mechanisms or registration requirements, this software often comes with cracks, serial numbers or key generators. Warez also applies to any other content subject to copyright protection that is pirated online. Warez groups are responsible for the vast majority of this content, whether it is software, games, movies, console games, music or e-books.
In most countries, downloading and sharing this type of content is illegal and can result in lawsuits or even prosecution. However, warez use has become so widespread that usually jail time is reserved for those found selling content or distributing it on a large scale.