Computer Piracy is when software gets copied without permission from the copyright holder. This means that the copyright holder, usually the one who makes the software, will not get any reward for his/hers product. It is illegal to infringe the copyright law and can result in imprisonment and/or fines.
There are five types of software piracy. These include:
Softlifting: Then is when somebody purchases a single licensed copy of the software and loads it on several computers, contrary to the license. So if the program is loaded into friends and co-workers computers there will be a breach of the copyright law. An exception is the users right to make one backup copy for archival purposes.
Hard disk loading: When unauthorized copies of software are placed on the disk when you buy a new personal computer. This is a way for the computer dealers to sell computers at a low price with an added value for their customers. The computer market is a competitive market and computer dealer’s try hard to sell PC’s that include so much software and hardware as possible, with a low price.
Renting: This is software for temporary use. This means that it is illegal to rent software for a while and then give it back.
Downloading: Electronic bulletin boards are places you can connect to if you have a computer and a modem. To get a real access you usually have to load files into the bulletin board database if you also want to retrieve files from the board. Unauthorized copyrighted software can easily spread out to users connected by modem.
Software Counterfeiting: This illegal duplication of software. Sometimes it can be really difficult determined if software is the original or if it is an illegal copy. The documentation that follows with the program can look like the original, but money never reaches the copyright holder.
Users of copied or counterfeit software usually get inadequate documentation, lack of technical support, and a lack of software upgrades.
Software piracy occurs because people think it is legal to copy software for themselves and for friends as long as the copier doesn’t get any profit for the distribution of the software. Some people do it to save money or because they think all other users do the same. Software piracy causes software companies to lose billions of dollars.
I feel software piracy is wrong, however jacking up the prices of software is wrong also. Software piracy occurs usually because of the cost associated with software. If you look at ethics both are wrong, computer piracy and selling software at a price that is unreasonable. So I think computer piracy is just the consumers way of fighting back. Software companies lose big bucks because of computer piracy, but I’m sure they still make a nice little profit from money they do make on the software.
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