Software Piracy: a Big Crime with Big Consequences

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Software Piracy: a Big Crime with Big Consequences

By | October 1999
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Software Piracy: A Big Crime With Big Consequences

Imaging for a moment that you come across an advertisement saying you can meet up with an individual who will break into a store, disarm all of the alarms and will hold the door open for you as you walk inside and take anything you wish. This criminal offence occurs every day on computer systems around the world including the internet. This is a very serious problem and is very difficult to circumvent. Every computer user is both tempted and immersed in software piracy in its many forms. One of the most disturbing facts behind this crime is that many people who participate in the distribution of commercial software don't even know they are committing a crime. Software piracy is a very serious and widespread crime that must be acknowledged and dealt with. Software piracy is the unauthorized duplication and or distribution of copyrighted programs. There are two ways to be involved in software piracy. The first is facilitation. Facilitation is the deliberate copying of copyrighted software and distributing it. An example would be an MIT student named David LaMacchia. This individual served and maintained a computer that was connected to the internet that offered it's users more than one million dollars worth of software 'free of charge.' Mr. LaMacchia was caught by the authorities and was acquitted of this piracy due to the lack of legal standards for this crime. Another example is off local bulletin board systems. Many are run out of the offenders homes with just a phone line, a computer and a modem. Here members of this service can send and receive pirated software (otherwise known as 'warez') as their own pace and leisure. There are not just one or two of these bulletin boards around there are in fact many. Most reside in large cities and the offenders are in most cases minors. As the computer gains a more stable hold on our society these bulletin boards are replaced by the ones that...
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