Computing Ethics and Cyber Law

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1.0 Introduction
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Information Technology (IT) is gradually becoming one of the hottest topics globally regardless of which age group you are in. Due to the fact that IT enables us to be more efficient and effective, the demand for technology multiplies yearly. Therefore, there is a rapid growth in the technology industry globally, especially the software industry.

For the past few years, Malaysia has been slowly in the Information Technology area. Malaysians are more IT literate and the awareness towards technology usage has increased. The high demand towards technology encouraged the country to open up more technological industries. For instant, due to the demands and needs of the users, a small Scottish software company designed software where it allowed users to safely share and communicate in a secure and safe environment. Without any marketing, the company manages to show a sign of growth through word of mouth. Meanwhile, this led to the escalating software piracy record. Thus, software piracy is about to overshadow the Malaysia’s reputation. The Malaysia government is trying their level best to fight against this crime for years. (Small Scottish Software Company shows early sign of growth, 2006, Retrieved on 29 November 2006, from

Based on a research regarding “Piracy Rate in Asia Pacific”, Malaysia obtained an average piracy rate, which is 61%. Compared to last year’s research, the piracy rate went down by 2%. The study was done due to examine the effort being devoted to fight the crime as well as to clearly define the term “piracy” throughout the whole world. As piracy might be an obstacle for the development of a country if it is not carefully handled, it is important for Malaysia to understand that a legal system plays an important role in fighting against piracy. However, sometimes it puzzled us on how software piracy is defined and measured as the term is used in various ways. Hence, we will be defining the term “piracy” in the following page.

2.0 Definition
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The growth of software piracy is inevitable, as the developing countries in Asia become more industrialized; there is a growth in the usage of computers in home and working environment. For the reason that the number of users increase, the possibility of the piracy rate to increase became higher. However, in Malaysia, the definition of “software piracy” is ambiguity. As a result, it contributed to a higher piracy rate in Malaysia. In the following, we will be defining the term “software piracy”.

Software piracy is portrait as unauthorized use of software by Encarta in the World English Dictionary (North American edition). The act of software piracy includes illegal duplication of copyrighted software or the installation of copyrighted software on more computers than authorized under terms of the software license agreement.

In contrast with Encarta in the World English Dictionary’s definition, Princeton defines software piracy as plagiarism which is “taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own”. Another form of piracy is the illegal copy or use of goods that are protected by intellectual property law, such as copying software, music, films and even fashion designs.

Although there are many forms of definition regarding software piracy, they are all closely related to the common term which is “piracy”. From the above definition it is clear that piracy is considered an illegal act, which is stealing goods or intellectual property. It is considered as act of crime, regardless of whether the act is carried by force or through electronic media. As a result, all of them are liable to the punishment provided for the offence.

3.0 Application of Cyber Law
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