Software Piracy

Software Piracy



Software Piracy
It's Best to​ Avoid It At All Costs
Like electronic identity theft,​ computer viruses,​ and the​ spread of​ other computer crimes,​ software piracy is​ on​ the​ rise .​
The problem with software piracy is​ that software costs make this illegal activity appealing to​ the​ end user .​
After all,​ who is​ it​ going to​ hurt? Rich software companies?? This article investigates software piracy as​ a​ whole and the​ impact that it​ has on​ the​ computer using industry.
The most vulnerable victims of​ software piracy are software businesses or​ independent programmers who create and distribute commercial software or​ shareware .​
We described shareware in​ another article,​ but because both commercial software and shareware require payment,​ they're the​ target of​ pirates who seek to​ make these kinds of​ programs free to​ use .​
Depending on​ their binding legal agreements,​ licensing typically allows the​ use of​ a​ single program on​ a​ single computer .​
This set up is​ usually fine for a​ user who uses software at​ home on​ one computer .​
But in​ an​ environment where there are five,​ ten,​ twenty or​ more computers,​ buying a​ license for each computer can be down-right costly .​
So costly that the​ temptation to​ pirate a​ little software here and there can be pretty tempting.
Co-workers are familiar with this temptation and they're often the​ ones who share purchased software among those who need it .​
However the​ same temptation also prompts others to​ knowingly or​ unknowingly buy bootleg copies of​ commercial software or​ registered shareware .​

As tempting as​ it​ is,​ it's still illegal and the​ punishments/fines for sharing commercial or​ registered software is​ too much for one to​ bear .​
In recent news,​ Yahoo China loses music piracy case (AP via Yahoo! News) a​ court has ordered Yahoo Inc.'s China subsidiary to​ pay $27,​000 for aiding music piracy,​ the​ company and a​ music industry group said Tuesday.1 Additionally,​ EU lawmakers approve prison terms,​ fines for major commercial piracy (International Herald Tribune) EU lawmakers voted Wednesday for legislation that would set prison sentences and fines for large-scale commercial piracy,​ but exempt patents and copying carried out for personal use .​
2
Fortunately,​ there are alternatives .​
Schools can research student versions of​ commercial software or​ ask for a​ school discount .​
Just because school rates aren't advertised,​ it​ doesn't mean that they aren't available .​
Freeware or​ open source software (also described in​ another one of​ our articles) is​ another alternative to​ pirating commercial-ware,​ as​ well as​ shareware .​
And using older versions of​ programs could additionally reduce the​ costs associated with commercial versions.
Up until recently,​ public opinion held little faith in​ freeware or​ open source software - often regarding it​ as​ low-quality knock-off's of​ better known commercial products .​
But if​ you​ take a​ good look at​ what's being offered at​ no cost,​ you​ may be in​ for a​ big surprise .​
The quality of​ today's freeware and open source software created a​ strong rift among the​ commercial community and it's literally driving the​ competition bananas! So much so,​ that even some well known software development corporations have joined the​ cause and built a​ few freeware open source products of​ their own!
If you​ can remember that there are hoards of​ alternatives to​ costly commercial software (and you​ make the​ effort to​ get it),​ you'll discover that you​ can keep up with the​ rest of​ the​ computer industry at​ a​ significantly cheaper cost than if​ you​ attempted to​ pay your way down the​ software aisle .​
Software piracy just isn't the​ answer .​




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