Software Piracy

2175 words 9 pages
Software Piracy:

A Worldwide Problem Software piracy is defined as the illegal copying of software for commercial or personal gain. Software companies have tried many methods to prevent piracy, with varying degrees of success. Several agencies like the Software Publishers Association and the Business Software Alliance have been formed to combat both worldwide and domestic piracy. Software piracy is an unresolved, worldwide problem, costing millions of dollars in lost revenue. Software companies have used many different copy protection schemes. The most annoying form of copy protection is the use of a key disk. This type of copy protection requires the user to insert the original disk every time the program is run. It can be quite
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A company that is caught making or owning illegal software can face jail time and fines of double the cost of the software or fifty thousand dollars, whichever is greater (Mamis 127). Companies need to keep good records in order to survive a surprise audit by the SPA. The SPA is not without heart; they offer companies amnesty if the companies confess and pay for all illegally copied software (Davis 50). Unfortunately, there are some people who support software piracy. These people see software companies as rich, cold-hearted businesses who make so much profit that they can afford to take a loss. While this statement might prove true for large companies like Microsoft or IBM, smaller businesses can be financially devastated by even a few pirated copies (Hope 40). Supporters of software piracy do not consider their actions wrong. They argue that software needs to be freely distributed in order to speed economic development (Weisband 30). The Software Publishers Association and its sister company the Business Software Alliance have succeeded where the US government has failed. The SPA handles cases in the US, while the BSA works in over thirty foreign countries. In cooperation with local law enforcement, these two organizations have attacked individual companies with moderate success (Weisband 31). The toughest obstacle the BSA faces is trying to get local governments to make copyright laws and to get local law


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