Mary Morrison's Ethical Issue

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Mary Morrison’s Ethical Issue

Mary is an undergraduate student at Big State University. Her parents gave her a Christmas present – new computer. It was inexpensive PC with no software installed on it. For her studies at school, Mary needed specific applications – word processor, a spreadsheet program, and some presentation software. Her friend advised her Microsoft Office Professional which is good software for business students. She was going to buy it for $199 from her savings for Florida spring break trip. However, her friend Frank offered her to copy software on her new computer. Mary was not sure about that because copying copyrighted software is illegal in the USA. Mary faced an ethical dilemma: to buy legal copy or install an illegal copy.

In this case I see a personal ethical issue.
Mary was raised in a good family with principles of honesty, loyalty, doing right things. Moreover, Mary had money. Definitely, she was going to spend them on her vacation. But she could either go on her vacation, earn money and buy software later or buy software now and postpone her spring break trip. So she could manage her budget and work some extra hours at the bookstore. Or for some time she could use campus computer labs to work on her projects. In addition, Mary is a future business woman. From this point of view, it was also unethical to copy software. If she had worked for Microsoft, loss in income would affect her bonus, for example. I am sure she would meet greater challenges later in her life and work. But this one should be no exception. She should always listen to herself and do what is right.
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