What is Software Piracy ?
Software Piracy comes in many forms,however the same principle. The
software is being copied or used in a way that violates the terms of service. This often is
cited as a cause for low sales of a piece of software or poor profits when the
software itself is very popular.
You can read about the various kinds of piracy here.
Here is another good link about software piracy.
What are the Effects of Software Piracy?
Software Piracy is
creditied with billions of dollars loss to the software
industry by the Business Software Alliance, who studies software piracy extensively. By removing revenue from the
developers, jobs are lost and there is less incentive to create new software.
Why is it Debated?
There are however, two sides to the issue of software piracy. There are
corporations like Microsoft, Apple, Nortel, and many others who want to be paid
for their product. On the other side are two different groups, whose members may
overlap. First, are the people who believe that all information should be free
and all programming should be open source. They belive that this will spark
industry creativity instead of stifling it as many corporations fear. Additionally they argue that personal backups, and
being able to resell software as long as you are not still using it should always be legal regardless of what a company
wishes to say. Things like
Microsoft's policy on OEM transfer, fuel these arguments. Secondly, are those who argue that software piracy
is not truly an issue that deserves to be credited with those billions of dollars loss. The arguments range from software
has simply become far too overpriced, to the idea that if someone pirates a copy of software they would not have bought
the software to begin with. College students are often in possession of large quantities of illegal software, and are
used as an example case for people who would not likely buy or be able to afford the software legitimately.
How Ccan I Tell if My Software is Pirated?
Not all pirated software is obvious. While the burned cd with the handwritten label should definately be stayed away from-
there are those who try to pass off a pirated copy as legitimate. Microsoft offers a page here
to help determine if your version of their products are legitimate. However, for everything else, a really good tool is to use your common sense:
When doing without isn't an option, there are several things you can do to keep yourself on the legal side
and still get what you need.