Copyright and Piracy
counter software piracy, manufacturers use software copyrights and
software. What exactly constitutes an act of software piracy? Read the Webopedia
definition to find out. Some organizations like GNU (short for
GNU’s Not Unix), or the Free Software Foundation strongly believe that
software should be freely distributed. There are two sides to the software
copyright argument, but there seem to be only partial solutions offered in
the debate about software piracy.
Software Piracy Considering
the phenomenal growth of the PC over the course of the last 20 years (as
of 2001, 50% of American households now have a PC), it is not surprising
that the software industry is one of the largest in the country. Software
pirates short-change the software industry billions of dollars every year.
Software copyright and licensing provides penalties as deterrents to
software piracy. On Microsoft’s
anti-piracy page you can read about software piracy and report any
software piracy you have witnessed. You can also report suspected
violations of copyright law to the Business Software Alliance by dialing
(888) NOPIRACY or to the SIIA anti-piracy hotline at (800) 388-7478. To
read more about the different types of software piracy, its effects, and
the penalties, visit either http://www.filemaker.com/,
Some organizations like the SIIA (Software and Information Industry
Association) and the BSA (Business Software Association) take an active
role in combating software piracy. The SIIA represents over 1,000
high-tech companies. Through their anti-piracy division, SPA (Software
Publishers Association), the SIIA has prosecuted numerous software
pirates. At the SIIA Web site
you can read about current anti-piracy court cases, piracy FAQs, and
copyright information. The BSA has an anti-piracy
Web page that is similar to that of the SIIA. Here you can learn
how to protect yourself and your organization from software piracy.
GNU (GNU’s Not Unix)
Launched in 1984, the GNU Project provides free, Unix-like operating
systems, software, and manuals. GNU believes that software should be
available for anyone to download, copy, or distribute free of charge. Read
about this revolutionary way of looking at software economics at the GNU
Project’s home page www.gnu.org.
The unofficial GNU documentation site www.cs.pdx.edu/~trent/gnu
has a rich selection of GNU information. Read the GNU
Manifesto for further details about GNU’s existence. Another
important GNU document is the GNU Public License (GPL), which can be found
Associated with the GNU Project, the FSF
(Free Software Foundation) authored and posts this document.
Entertainment software is perhaps the most frequently pirated type of
software. Read the three-part “Software Piracy Report” at the GameSpy
Web site. Warning: This series contains “seedy details” about
the world of software piracy.