Software Piracy

Stanley By Stanley, 1st Feb 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Gambling>Peer To Peer

This Reading is an overview of Software Piracy, and how it leads to possibility of inferior products. Peer to Peer sharing is causing massive cuts on companies profits, but is it justified?

Software Piracy

Software Piracy
With everyone having the possibility of connecting to the internet, software piracy seems to be an act that will always be inevitable to prevent. Software piracy is the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software. It is said that the consumer does not own the software that he or she purchased; instead he or she owns a license to use the provided software on as many computers as the license allows. With that in mind, the companies producing this software or music are telling you what you can or cannot do with what you spend your money on. This is the main altercation the pro-piracy movement has against the software and music companies. Some believe that every piece of pirated software takes away from a company’s profits, when in reality; the person pirating the software most likely does not have the $2500 for adobes latest software package.
When downloading illegal software, the “seal” has been broken, and the file downloading can contain anything from a virus to malware. As e-mail tops the charts in containing spyware, P2P users are finding out there is much activity that is noticed by few. Criminals actively search peer to peer networks in search of information or data they can exploit. Last year alone the United States spent eight billion dollars in PC repair and replacements due to malware, viruses, spy-ware and adware. Other then harm to your own computer, using or downloading pirated software is punishable by law, to an extent. Legal punishments vary on the nation. In the United States, in the case of a civil penalty of copyright infringement, the infringer is liable for damaged endured by the owner of the copyright, in addition to any profits reaped by the infringer up to $150,000 for each work that’s been infringed. The maximum criminal penalties for copyright infringement are a $250,000 fine and up to five years in jail.
Software copyrights protect the investment of software companies that dedicate their time and money into software development. Copyright laws encourage these companies to come up with new and creative idea’s to keep up with changing times. Companies invest large portions of their profits to researching and developing newer software with greater capabilities. Programmers, artists, managers, writers, scripter’s, and other staff members, deserve their fair compensation for the time invested in the project. Copyright laws allow the companies to reap all the benefits that amount due to their software without opposition.
Fair use is a doctrine in the US copyright law allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders. Fair use in the copyright law designates some form of copying as legal or fair use. The intent is to increase public access to the work without infringing on the benefits derived from the work by author or publisher. “Fair use was only codified once in 1976, and section 107 has only been amended once since then. If it laid down a series of specific exemptions rather than an open-ended standard, it would have hobbled innovation. Who in 1976 would have foreseen Internet search engines, or understood the tremendous societal benefit they create despite the fact they copy massive amounts of copyrighted information every day?” (Glaser, 2008) With the new era of digital media, it is evident that the time has come for some serious changes to the law concerning the distribution of copyrighted media over the internet.
Using peer-to-peer networks (P2P) to copy or distribute copyrighted works is infringement, and copyright owners have every right to invoke the power of the courts to combat such activity. The Pirate Bay is one of the largest and well known file sharing networks. Much debate has resulted due to the ongoing pressure by the RIAA and other anti-piracy groups. The Pirate bays argument is that users put up content to share with other users. No content is hosted on any server at The Pirate Bay owns besides the .torrent file which contains no copyrighted material. “Harbored by a country where 1.2 million out of 9 million citizens tell the census that they engage in file sharing, the Pirate Bay is as much a national symbol as it is a website. Protected by weak Swedish copyright laws, the Bay survived and grew as movie studio lawyers felled competing Bit Torrent trackers one-by-one. Today it boasts an international user base and easily clears 1 million unique visitors a day.” (Norton, 2006)
Software piracy is a crime that many commit knowingly or unknowingly. Software piracy is a common crime with serious consequences. The internet is in its infancy, and we are nowhere close to the end of piracy. The only hope both sides of the issue have, is to create new legislation regarding copyright that better conforms to the new age of digital media. No more lawsuits against twelve years old or the elderly, instead educated the population on what is fair use and what is not. It is evident that the current system is not working, and nothing will change until it does.

Works Cited
Glaser, M. (2008, 08 11). Should Copyright Law Change in the Digital Age? Retrieved 02 28, 2009, from Mediashift:
Norton, Q. (2006, 08 18). Secrets of the Pirate Bay. Retrieved 02 26, 2009, from Wired.Com:


Computer, Computer Software, Computers Software, Ebook, Ebooks, Games, Movie, Movies, Mpaa, Music, P2P, Peer To Peer, Peer-To-Peer, Piracy, Piratebay, Riaa, Software, Steal, Stealing, Torrent

Meet the author

author avatar Stanley
I am a junior Computer Science major at SUNY Binghamton. I love to read, play sports and play video games. Most of my writing explains injustices about certain topics.

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