Step Lively Matey - There be Pirates afoot!
So my discussion post for this week at school was pretty interesting. It was over the ethical views and dilemma of software piracy. Here is the post and my response.
What is software piracy?
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.
Forty-one percent of the software installed on personal computers worldwide was pirated
in 2008, a three percentage point increase from 38 percent in 2007. During 2008, losses due to
piracy increased 11 percent $53 billion.
At 20 percent, the United States had one of the lowest piracy rate of all countries studied. Despite the low percentage, the United States ranked first worldwide in software losses due to piracy at $9.1 billion.
A 2008 study predicted that lowering PC software piracy by 10 points over four years would create 600,000 additional new jobs worldwide (www.bsa.org/idcstudy).
Piracy is not limited to software; it also includes movies, music, and eBooks. Explain your personal feeling on when software piracy is ethical and when it is unethical. Also give personal experiences with software piracy.
After discussing your views on software piracy, you are required to reply to two other students’ posts on the topic.
And here is my post for the week. Just thought that you might want to check it out.
First off Wow, I didn’t know that the numbers were that high on piracy! I knew it was a lot but WOW! It would be great to see more people legally license their software and in turn create more jobs. I also think that the prices are definitely too high. It is good to see that Apple has lowered the price of their new OS and that the license is more generious. I think that they are headed in the right direction to help prevent piracy.
I firmly believe that open source is a really great alternative. There is a ton of pressure on Schools, City, State, and Government entities for budget cuts. They can’t afford to pay the high licensing fees for this software that they “have to have” in order to do their jobs. I think that the piracy issue is in part due to ignorance and part due to the fact that people don’t care or do not view it as theft. It’s easy to do so that deems it “ok” in their mind. The first computer that I built (when I didn’t know what I was doing) had a pirated copy of Windows XP. A friend of mine just loaded it on there for me. When he first helped me out with that computer I truly didn’t understand that it was in breach of license and was considered stealing from Microsoft. Later that computer got reloaded to an Ubuntu desktop. My wife is an english teacher at the local college, she uses NeoOffice on her MackBook instead of purchasing a copy of OfficeMac for $149 the NeoOffice works great it has had a couple of hiccups but patches were released pretty quickly. I do think that it was kind of cynical for Microsoft to force new licensing fees by changing from .doc to .docx, I think things like that just encourage piracy.
Some of the customers that I have at my job don’t understand why they have to pay an additional $150-$300 to be able to type a document on the new laptop they just bought for $600-$700. I was repairing a laptop for a customer and informed her we may nee to reinstall her OS and that she would need her license information in order to reinstall her Microsoft Office. She siad that she didn’t have it that the Microsoft office was just on there. I have also witnessed a scenario where a Sheriff’s office had a server that was required by the state for document submissions, where the software company was ripping them off and Microsoft. Their server crashed and our company sold them new hardware. They software company does not support Server 2008 so we could not legally license their new Server for them that software company had us install Server 2003 with a key that they gave us, which was not previously licensed to the sheriff’s office. So in order for this software company to save money an not forward develop their applications for Server 2008 they have just decided to pirate Server 2003 for their new installs.
I don’t think that piracy is ethical, I do think that the licensing is a little to restrictive in certain areas, like OEM, if your motherboard goes out and you have to replace it with a different model or different manufacture then you shouldn’t have to pay again to license your OS. As far as movies go I do have my DVDs that I own copied to a library so that I can watch them back via my AppleTV. I know that technically that is in breach of license of DVD but If I have already paid for the DVD then shouldn’t I be able to play it back where I choose. Does anyone view this as piracy? I have read a little about the FairPlay act but I don’t know if this fall under that.