Software Piracy: A Big Crime With Big ConsequencesImaging for a moment that you come across an advertisement saying you canmeet up with an individual who will break into a store, disarm all of the alarmsand will hold the door open for you as you walk inside and take anything youwish.
This criminal offence occurs every day on computer systems around theworld including the internet. This is a very serious problem and is verydifficult to circumvent. Every computer user is both tempted and immersed insoftware piracy in its many forms.
One of the most disturbing facts behind thiscrime is that many people who participate in the distribution of commercialsoftware don’t even know they are committing a crime. Software piracy is a veryserious and widespread crime that must be acknowledged and dealt with.Software piracy is the unauthorized duplication and or distribution ofcopyrighted programs. There are two ways to be involved in software piracy.The first is facilitation. Facilitation is the deliberate copying of copyrightedsoftware and distributing it. An example would be an MIT student named DavidLaMacchia. This individual served and maintained a computer that was connectedto the internet that offered it’s users more than one million dollars worth ofsoftware ‘free of charge.
‘ Mr. LaMacchia was caught by the authorities and wasacquitted of this piracy due to the lack of legal standards for this crime.Another example is off local bulletin board systems. Many are run out of theoffenders homes with just a phone line, a computer and a modem.
Here members ofthis service can send and receive pirated software (otherwise known as ‘warez’)as their own pace and leisure. There are not just one or two of these bulletinboards around there are in fact many. Most reside in large cities and theoffenders are in most cases minors. As the computer gains a more stable hold onour society these bulletin boards are replaced by the ones that are linked tothe internet. By this individuals can anonymously put out copyrighted softwarefor the use of any anonymous user of the internet such as the type of systemthat Mr. LaMacchia ran.
The second way to be involved in software piracy is tobe on the receiving end. These individuals can be anyone. All they need is acomputer and access to a computer. In this an individual willingly breakscopyright law and retrieves by whatever means copyrighted software. In effectthis individual steals the software for their use. Again in this case theoffenders are usually minors. Keep in mind that is it not only minors that arecommitting acts of software piracy, many adults and especially companies andcorporations still pirate software but they do so at a very little profile.
There are many ways that an individual can commit software piracy. Sixdifferent methods are of the most evident ways to pirate software. The firstand most common method of software piracy is called ‘End User Copying’ or’softlifting.’ This type of piracy is the out right copying of a program andgiving it to a friend or a colleague. An example of this is an individual justbought a brand new computer game from the store.
They liked it so much thatthey made a copy and gave it to a friend. The second form of piracy is what isreferred to as hard disk loading. This is where a computer dealer or companycopy and load unauthorized copies of software onto the hard disks or the mainstorage facility on the computer they will sell. This is a more commercialaspect of software piracy and many of these companies use this as an incentiveto sell their machines by making more software for the machine available to thecustomer. The third method is becoming more popular as many more people aregetting connected to the internet. This is the downloading or sendingcopyrighted/illegal software via a modem to a public or private bulletin boardsystem or the internet.
This type of piracy is usually at no charge to the enduser and is usually open to many people. The fourth type of software piracy isknown as counterfeiting. This is the illegal duplication and sale ofcopyrighted/illegal software.
This can be a very complex and sophisticated wayof piracy. This can include a relatively significant effort to duplicate theoriginal packaging, logos and other