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Software Piracy Essay

2523 words - 10 pages

Many years have passed since the first pirates emerged on the sea, but they still exist and have extended their scope of action. Meaning of the word ‘’pirate’’ has changed and now can be defined as the person who illegally makes a copy of someone’s property. Music, films, books and software on hard media can be pirated by consumers. According to Gopal and Sanders (1998 381) software piracy is the operation of simulating original software which is against the law for any purpose. Such illegal acts could seriously affect industry and society. For instance, losses of software industry profits because of piracy were $12.8 billion in 1993 (Austin American-Statesman 1994), it shows that a large number of software products were pirated. Therefore, piracy is a major problem for the advance of the software industry and consumers. This essay will cover causes and effects of software piracy. There are four main reasons why the piracy of software is easy and widespread, economic development, legislation, reliability of pirated copies and consumer’s attitude. Software piracy has the intellectual impact on society and the financial effect on the industry. This essay also will provide the combat process and analyze some proposed solutions in order to determine the effective solution.
The history of software piracy starts from 1975, when Dan Sokol, who was a member of Homebrew Computer Club, copied the version of the programming language BASIC (Leinss n.d.). Since then, piracy seems to have increased by years. For instance, Givon et al. (1995 29) state that 40% of software was pirated in the United States in 1995. However, as Gopal and Sanders (1998 381) inform the percent of illegal copies there, had risen to 70% in 1997. Italy and Spain had above 80% of illegal software in 1995 and piracy level of African, Latin American, East European and Asian countries were above 90% (ibid. 1998 381).Survey of 110 countries shows that while in 57 countries the rate of software piracy half decreased, in approximately a third of them is stayed at the same level, and increased in 16 countries in 2008. The global rate of software piracy stays higher because of countries with the highest ratio, for instance, China and India. In case of the United States this value is 20%, but less percentage of the software piracy does not mean fewer losses of money, because for the United States as a centre of industry market it amounts approximately $ 9 billion (Business Software Alliance 2009).Software piracy, as a process, has specific ways of feasibility. Pirated goods can be created by copying them from an original source or from another pirated version. The pirates do not announce about the illegality of their software, it results in complication of this problem (ibid. 1995 30). Software piracy changes the intellectual thinking and moral expectations of customers and threatens the industry of software, because it has the worst consequence for market and stops development. The problem...

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