The PC industry is over twenty years old. In those twenty years, evolving software technology brings us faster, more sophisticated, versatile and easy-to-use products. Business software allows companies to save time, effort and money. Educational computer programs teach basic skills and complicated subjects. Home software now includes a wide variety of programs that enhance the users productivity and creativity. The industry is thriving and users stand to benefit along with the publishers. The SPA (Software Publishers Association) reports that the problem of software theft has grown, and threatens to prevent the development of new software products. Unauthorized duplication of software is known as software piracy which is a "Federal offense that affects everyone" ("Software Use..." Internet). The following research examines software piracy in its various forms, its impact on the end user and the international industry as a whole, and the progress that has been made in alleviating the problem.
Software piracy harms all software companies and ultimately, the end user. Piracy results in higher prices for honest users, reduced levels of support and delays in funding and development of new products, causing the overall breadth and quality of software to suffer" ("What is..." Internet). Even the users of unlawful copies suffer from their own illegal actions: they receive no documentation, no customer support and no information about product updates ("Software Use..." Internet).
The White Paper says that while virtually every software publisher expresses concern about their software from unauthorized duplication, over time, many have simply accepted the so-called "fact" that such duplication is unavoidable. This has created an atmosphere in which software piracy is commonly accepted as "just another cost of doing business" ("With the Growth..." Internet).
In a brochure published by the...