Pircay is still a crim
Software Piracy is the most common computer crime, it is the illegal
coping of software. People wouldn’t think of shoplifting software from a retail store, but don’t think twice about going home and making several illegal copies of the same software and this is true because I myself am guilty of this. The major problem is not people going out and buying the software then making copies for everyone, it’s the websites that cater to pirating software, that really cause the problem. On anyone one of these sites you could find hundreds of pirated software open for anyone to take. This is a problem and nothing can really be done about it. Few arrests are made in this area of computer crime.
In 1993 worldwide illegal copying of domestic and international software cost $12.5 billion to the software industry, with a loss of $2.2 billion in the United States alone. Estimates show that over 40 percent of U.S. software company revenues are generated overseas, yet nearly 85 percent of the software industry’s piracy losses occurred outside of the United States borders. The Software Publishers Association said that approximately 35 percent of the business software in the United States was obtained illegally, and 30 percent of the piracy occurs in the business world. In a business, every computer must have its own set of original software. It is illegal for a business to purchase a single set of original software and then load that software onto more than one computer, or lend, copy or distribute software for any reason without the prior written
consent of the software manufacturer.
In 1980 The Copyright Act was amended to explicitly include computer programs. Title 17 to the United States Code states that it is illegal to make or to distribute copies of copyrighted material without authorization, except for the user’s right to make a single backup copy for archival purposes. Any written material (including computer programs) fixed in a tangible form (written somewhere i.e. printout) is considered copyrighted without any additional action on the part of the author.
One of the main concerns of the software industry is how to deal with the issues of software licensing. More and more customers want customized software suited for their business or personal need, and expect the software development firms to accommodate to their wishes. The other side of this issue is that software development firms are concerned with unrealized revenue and excess costs of software piracy. Software licensing policies were originally a result of software developers’ need to protect their income from piracy.
While software piracy is very big there is also a very large part of it in the music and movie industry. Many people are under fire because of the use of mp3s and the sharing of industry secrets like DVD. One of the most familiar law suits is the one against Napster, a program that helps people share mp3s.
Brandel, William, “Licensing stymies users,”
Software, Inc., 1994.
Business Software Alliance, “Software Piracy and the Law,”
URL:”http://www.bsa.org/bsa/docs/soft_pl.html”, Business Software
Software Publishers Association, “SPA Anti-Piracy Backgrounder,”
URL:”http://www.spa.org/piracy/pi_back.htm”, Software Publishers