You will prepare and submit a term paper on Software Piracy Problem in the IT Industry. Your paper should be a minimum of 2250 words in length. As such, software needs to be protected to encourage and support innovation and the creation of knowledge. Software facilitates the creation and functioning of all IT devices which improve people’s lives (Cronan, Timothy & Al-Rafee 2008).
The Business Society Alliance (BSA) defines software piracy as illegal copying, downloading, sharing, and installation of software that is copyrighted. The problem of software piracy is a global issue and thus is very difficult to measure. Documented evidence shows that software was the first IT development to be duplicated on large-scale. Initially, this piracy was conducted via copying disks and other physical items. Currently, the crime is carried over the internet by downloading and sharing copyrighted software. For example, peer to peer software connects people on the internet and is used to share digital files at no cost (Bagchi, Kallol & Cerveny 2006). Peer to peer software enables users fast access to digital files, ease search options for pirated software, lower risk of detection and no cost. These factors increase software piracy among internet users.
End-user copying of copyrighted software is a crime in most states. This includes reproducing software for lending. Also, copying licensed software for friends to use is illegal. For example, copying commercial software into a CD for a friend to test it. On the other hand, counterfeiting refers to reproducing original software and reselling the software as original copies with labels and packaging. For example, making copies of original software, reproducing the labels and packaging to make the copies look like the original software and selling the counterfeits to the public (Marron & Steel 2000).
Online piracy is another type of illegal software distribution conducted by downloading illegal copies of software and distributing it to other online users. Peer to peer software programs are often used by online users to download software.