Software piracy is the copying and reselling of software without the consent of the software creator. It is the copying and reuse of software by large corporations. It is copying software and distributing it on the Web.
A country with maybe the biggest software piracy problem is China. In 1994, software piracy was 97% in China.1 In 1999 the rate was still 91%. 2 Software piracy is a huge problem in China. Only Vietnam has a higher piracy rate than China.
Stopping the software piracy problem in China will be very difficult. Software piracy is embedded in China’s culture. China has long accepted the teachings of Confucianism and the idea of sharing creative works and ideas. 3 In China copying is not perceived as an inferior imitation as it is in the West. 4 The notion of sharing is also very important in China’s culture. Sharing creative works has been mandated for forty years in China. Putting a stop to this type of sharing would go against years of accepted beliefs. 5 There is also a lack of education about software piracy. The educational system in China emphasizes copying old works more than creating new works. Many in China may not even be aware that software piracy is illegal. Remember the population in China is 1.2 billion. Educating every member of the country is a difficult task. 6 When we try to stop software piracy in China, we are fighting an uphill battle.
So what must be done about the piracy problem in China? The responsibility lies with China’s government. The government must educate the public more about piracy. They must inform the public that piracy is wrong. The government should be forced to provide information about companies that violated the piracy laws and were punished. 7 China’s government must adopt a zero tolerance policy and enforce it. They must issue a stricter statement of policy and strongly enforce the policy.8
China is taking some steps to curb software piracy. From May 1996 to 1998 authorities seized 52 optical disc production lines from 33 different CD factories.9 China has also set up a reward system. A monetary reward is paid for information leading to the seizure of CD lines.10
Globally, software piracy in China has had a huge effect. In 1996, the estimated loses to U.S. copyright-based industries in China was $2.3 billion. In 1997 it was $2.8 billion.11
After China, the country with the next highest piracy rate is Russia. Russia has a software piracy rate of almost 90%.12 Much like China, Russia has also ignored its software piracy problems. The government there doe not address this problem. Like the government in China, the government in Russia must educate the public about the immorality of software pirating. They must pass stricter laws and enforce them. The piracy problems that currently exist in Russia have a significant impact on the rest of the world, including the U.S.
India does not have the piracy problems that China and Russia have, but it still has...