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The Increase In Piracy As A Result Of Internet User Apathy

1083 words - 5 pages

The evolution of the Internet into a mainstream resource has provided its users with access to whatever their hearts desire, often at no cost. Such free access has instilled in the minds of users that they are entitled to possess all that they may obtain, without regard to those from whom they are taking. Causing the damages to our economy and society on a global scale, and challenges to the current state of copyright law, resulting from the growth and advancement of digital technology, which has created a pandemic of apathy among an entire population of users toward the interests of copyright owners.

Piracy is generally divided into a few subcategories. The most commonly used order is:

• Commercial Piracy – Illegal duplication of software for the purpose of
distribution and sale.

• Corporate Piracy – Most commonly, a larger number of copies of software is
used that the company has licensed.

• Softlifting – The software equivalent of shoplifting. To download copyrighted
software or copying it from a friend.

According to research conducted by Guldberg & Sunden (2004), bootlegging, cassette tapes and Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) that were being invented at 1970’s gave population a easier way to record either movies or songs from radio into tapes and distributed very easily. Especially the VCR, which it created a huge new market for video sale and rental which has remained prosperous up to this date.

During this period in time cracking groups emerged in large numbers and they used BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems) to trade software6 as well as mailing and personally trading floppy discs. A vast majority of the software in end users’ possession was pirated and it was widely accepted among the users that duplicating software was acceptable. Computers had gone down in price and modems were also affordable. BBSs became the meeting place of all young people with an interest in computers. Piracy was common, but the BBSs were also a perfect place for people to exchange ideas and gain knowledge of very narrow fields by discussing with other users. BBSs had their golden years during the 1980’s and they emerged in large numbers especially during the latter part of the decade.

While computer software was pirated in a larger extent than ever before, the music industry released a new system called CD (Compact Disc).The CD proved to be a very cost-effective reliable storage system and was soon incorporated in the computer world. Instead of using several floppy discs, a CD could now be used to distribute software. Personal Computers had now moved in to the next generation consisting of Macintosh and a collection of different machines under the name PC. They had been around for quite some time already but Macintosh’s and PC’s didn’t get very common in homes until now, when the prices were affordable.

In the mid 1990’s, CD-writers for home use started to appear and another revolution in terms of piracy began. Internet started to find its way into people’s homes...

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