Software Piracy

Topics: Copyright infringement, Warez, Computer, Copyright, Computer software / Pages: 9 (2161 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
Software Piracy:

A Worldwide Problem Software piracy is defined as the illegal copying of software for commercial or personal gain. Software companies have tried many methods to prevent piracy, with varying degrees of success. Several agencies like the Software Publishers Association and the Business Software Alliance have been formed to combat both worldwide and domestic piracy. Software piracy is an unresolved, worldwide problem, costing millions of dollars in lost revenue. Software companies have used many different copy protection schemes. The most annoying form of copy protection is the use of a key disk. This type of copy protection requires the user to insert the original disk every time the program is run. It can be quite difficult to keep up with disks that are years old. The most common technique of copy protection requires the user to look up a word or phrase in the program's manual. This method is less annoying than other forms of copy protection, but it can be a nuisance having to locate the manual every time. Software pirates usually have no trouble "cracking" the program, which permanently removes the copy protection. After the invention of CD-ROM, which until lately was uncopyable, most software companies stopped placing copy protection in their programs. Instead, the companies are trying new methods of disc impression. 3M recently developed a new technology of disc impression which allows companies to imprint an image on the read side of a CD-ROM. This technology would not prevent pirates from copying the CD, but it would make a "bootleg" copy differ from the original and make the copy traceable by law enforcement officials (Estes 89). Sometimes, when a person uses a pirated program, there is a "virus" attached to the program. Viruses are self-replicating programs that, when activated, can damage a computer. These viruses are most commonly found on pirated computer games, placed there by some malignant computer programmer. In his January 1993

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