Legality and Ethicality: File Sharing

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Legality and Ethicality: File Sharing Powered By Docstoc

File Sharing

You have recently bought some graphic design software that is a far superior product, you
believe, to its competitors on the market. The price is rather high, but the purchase was
authorised by your boss for work related purposes. The software is delivered on a single CD
ROM. You believe that many of your friends who work for other companies would benefit if
they were able to use this software – and that the software developer would benefit as well
through additional sales. From an ethical perspective, you believe that it would be unethical
to keep this information to yourself, given its likely value for your friends, so you decide to
share it with them. You make 10 copies on CD ROM and send it to them as a gift.

Is this action legal?

Is it ethical?

What would you do?

Freedom of Speech; Censorship; National Interest

Your country is current at war with a powerful neighbour. The government is urging all
citizens to support the government and the armed forces, since a lack of consensus can only
act to weaken the country and reduce the likelihood of victory. As an investigative journalist,
you stumble upon a startling, classified government report: 30% of the senior officials in the
government have vested interests in the war via their connections with private companies,
some of which have been secretly arming the enemy for the last few years. This material is
clearly in the public interest, yet publication is likely to bring about the fall of the
government, and possible defeat in the war.

What should you do?

Freedom of Speech; Censorship; National Interest

A recent outbreak of Ebola virus has occurred in a remote area of your country. 200 people
have been infected and 180 have died so far. The local health authorities are trying to ensure
that news of this outbreak does not get published, since it may cause social chaos, panic and
serious negative economic consequences as foreign investment may dry up. As an
investigative journalist for an online newspaper on vacation in the same area, you stumble on
this story. The story would be a major scoop for the newspaper, and you can send in your
story with pictures via your satellite-linked PDA.

What should you do?

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