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Software Piracy (Kelly Chapman, 9/23/99)
Piracy costs software companies as well as users of software millions and perhaps billions of
dollars per year. The lost sales from piracy and "sharing" of programs ends up raising prices to
paying customers by 50 percent and up, one estimate says. Encryption, on-line sales,
government spying... which is the solution, if there even is one?


Re: Software Piracy [ 0 replies ] Posted by Matt Kremers on 1999-09-23
Piracy is a major problem for software developers, and i beleive that the only real way is tougher
encryption. On-line sales are more difficult for consumers to understand and would make people
more hesitant about buying and downloading, people need to have the instruction manual in their
hands to completely feel comfortable. Encryption is working for the home video industry with the
new encryption being used on DVD's. This tougher encryption is, I beleive, the best solution
currently available. Of coarse though, this will not stop it entirely.

Re: Software Piracy [ 1 replies ] Posted by Timothy Williams, JR. on 1999-
09-28
>Piracy costs software companies as well as users of software millions and perhaps billions of
dollars per year. The lost sales from piracy and "sharing" of programs ends up raising prices to
paying customers by 50 percent and up, one estimate says. Encryption, on-line sales,
government spying... which is the solution, if there even is one?

One of the problems with piracy could be in the commercial sale of digital-recording devices. If
consumers could not get a hold of this hardware, it be extremely difficult to duplicate the software
(unless you new someone with one).
Preventing customers from purchasing the hardware poses some problems also.
How are you to determine if copying the software is for personal reasons or commercial
purposes(selling the boot-legged copies)?

Software Piracy hardware question [ 1 replies ] Posted by Jisha Vachachira on
1999-10-07
I would like to know what the personal reasons would be for pirating, or copying software, are.
You say that it matters whether people are copying for personal or commercial reasons. Unless I
am misundertanding, I don't think there should be a legitimate reason for copying software
without acctually purchasing it. Sure, it may not be as harmful to copy something and not sell it as
opposed to copying it to make a profit, regardless, the act of copying is illegal.
So then I guess the next question is, why have such software that allows you to copy?
I would like to know what the personal reasons would be for pirating, or copying
software, are. You say that it matters whether people are copying for personal or
commercial reasons. Unless I am misundertanding, I don't think there should be a
legitimate reason for copying software without acctually purchasing it. Sure, it may not
be as harmful to copy something and not sell it as opposed to copying it to make a profit,
regardless, the act of copying is illegal.
So then I guess the next question is, why have such software that allows you to copy?

Answering your question [ 0 replies ] Posted by Chad Crosby on 1999-10-
08
To answer your first question, The personal reasons for copying software are, that you
don't have to pay for it. I don't know how else to explain it than just that. With software
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programs constantly being upgraded, many individuals feel that they'd rather copy the
software from someone rather than buy it. this is just one example.
Another thing, the penalty for selling pirated software is far more serious than simply
copying it for personal use.
I'm confused with your last question though. If you could be more specific, or rephrase it
I can try and help answer it.

Re: Software Piracy [ 1 replies ] Posted by Chad Crosby on 1999-09-30
A division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) known as SPA
anti-piracy, is devoted to not only stopping software piracy but educating the public about
it. They have many resources available including online report forms to report any cases
of piracy, auditing programs to detect whether a computer system contains unlicenced
software and a variety of educational information on piracy. Their website is very
comprehensive and is located at www.siia.net

Another good website [ 2 replies ] Posted by Kelly Chapman on 1999-10-03
There is a lot of information that is also relevant and useful at www.nopiracy.com. I actually saw
an ad for this site, ran by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) on the L.
Some of the information:

Worldwide, more than 38% of all software in use is illegally copied. In 1998, piracy cost the
software industry $11 billion in lost revenues.

There is a free software scanner on the website that analyzes your computer (especially for
businesses) and tells you what programs are on each computer so that a company can make
sure they have enough licenses.

The website also tells about the NET Act which allows for prosecution of someone who traffics
pirated software whether they profit from it or do it for free. The first conviction from this Act just
happened, but the article did not say what the penalty was.

I think that the penalties that individuals and companies are prone to for not obeying the laws are
important to know about, but I haven't found information on it yet. If anyone knows where I might
find that information, I'd appreciate the input

software piracy law [ 0 replies ] Posted by Chad Crosby on 1999-10-04
I found some information on software piracy law from an ethics in computing course offered at
North Carolina St. University. According to the posted lecture notes of Prf. Gehringer's course,
the following penalties are applicable to violators of software piracy:
The law on software piracy was passed by congress in oct. of 1992. It made illegal copying of
software for either personal or commercial gain a felony.
If the violator made more than ten copies of the software with a total retail value of $2,500 or
more, than they can get 5 years in prison or a fine up to $250,000. In order to get the maximum
penalty, the violator would have to be distributing more than $80million dollars worth so it seems
like a medium sized fine is the typical penalty.

Re: Another good website [ 0 replies ] Posted by david dimeo on 1999-10-
08
This topic is quite viable because it means "big money" in litigation. Also on nopiracy.com, there
is an example of such a lawsuit:
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Washington, DC (09 September 1999) -- The Business Software Alliance (BSA) announced today
that Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, a Chicago, IL-based manufacturing firm, agreed to pay
$350,000 to settle claims related to unlicensed copies of software programs that were installed on
computers it acquired during a recent merger. Along with the payment, Smurfit-Stone agreed to
bring all of its software into
compliance with copyright requirements and under a comprehensive software management
structure.

Re: Software Piracy [ 0 replies ] Posted by Eduardo Castro on 1999-10-05
I've visited a couple of web-sites and yes software piracy costs millions of dollars to the industry
and consumers. Most web-sites had aboutn the same statistical figures. However, and this might
sound naive, many times software piracy is committed because of ignorance. The software
industry is relatively new to the public. How many people see as wrong lending software to their
friends for installation? Many people ignore the basic guidelines of copyrights and trademarks.
Well I found a web-site (www.fast.org) that is dedicated to educate the public about software
piracy. It shows the diferent types of software piracy. It also has updates of anti-software piracy
laws.
I truly believe that educating and making people aware of the consequences would somewhat
decrease software piracy

Re: Software Piracy [ 0 replies ] Posted by Daniel Gerstein on 1999-10-05
According to the study, losses for the 10 most affected states including California, Texas, and
New York amounted to some 3.5 billion U.S. dollars, ro 57% of the nation's total. In 1998
communities nationwide lost over $1 billion in tax revenues, about $40 million above the 1997
level.

What is the solution? [ 3 replies ] Posted by Andrea Milligan on 1999-10-06
Because the software industry is fairly new you will encounter the same problems that you did
when the concepts of videos came out. The video industry suffered losses from people taping
movies from the tv or another video. There is no real solution to the problem. People will still find
a way to pirate software.

Re: What is the solution? [ 0 replies ] Posted by Chad Crosby on 1999-10-07
I disagree. To say there is no solution to the problem is like saying there is no solution to
domestic violence, rape, or any other crime so why bother. Yes people are still gonna find
a way to pirate software, just like people are gonna find a way to deal drugs, or steal. But
rather than accept it, we can find ways to reduce these crimes. Software piracy can
definitely be reduced through education. this is because many people are unaware what
constitutes software piracy and whether their actions are considered theft.
It goes a little deeper than just copying discs or tapes. To learn more information about
this, check out the SIIA's website at www.siia.net.

There has to be solutions [ 0 replies ] Posted by Eduardo Castro on 1999-10-07
I can see how you compare videos and audio cassettes piracy to software piracy. I had also
thought about that. Yes, video and to tape piracy had somewhat of a natural regulazation over the
years. However, you do not have Windows 3.1 in your classic's bin like you would do with the
Star Wars trilogy special or your Best of the Beatles album. PEOPLE DON'T COLLECT
SOFTWARE. Software is constantly being "improved" and adapted to the speed gaining
processors making yesterday's edition obsolete. Therefore, I don't see software piracy decreasing
or people buying software to mess around with it on a rainy day. Thus, I believe there has to be, if
not solutions, yes deterrents and attempts to prevent piracy.
That's what I think.
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Possible solutions [ 0 replies ] Posted by Kelly Chapman on 1999-10-10
Andrea makes a good point (forgive me if I'm misreading it) in that technology will always be able
to keep up with itself. Every time there is a new devolopment in technology, there will be a lot of
people who want to negatively take advantage of it, and they will find the means to do so. A main
reason for this is because some of the people who want to take advantage of the technology are
some of the people developing it in the first place.

One possible solution that has emerged in the last few years are called Application Service
Providers (ASP's). In these, the applications that a company uses are housed on a server, which
all of the workstations connect directly to in order to run the applications. By paying the ASP
directly, the company could be sure that they're only paying for the licenses they are using, but
they could also be sure they are covering themselves.
There is some talk about ASP's for private consumers, but many think this is not a realistic option
for most

the power of the Pentium Chip [ 1 replies ] Posted by Chad Crosby on 1999-
10-08
I found a very interesting article in "computer Dealer News" magazine about a possible
way to slow software piracy. The new pentium III chips that Intel is putting out are going
to contain a serial number that will allow the chip to be tracked in cyberspace. If the
serial number were to be linked to a particular software licence, then software producers
might be able to prevent the software from functioning on any other computer than the
one it was initially loaded on.

VERY bad idea [ 2 replies ] Posted by Kelly Chapman on 1999-10-10
The issue of the Pentium 3 serial number has already raised a lot of controversy in computer
circles. Most people (or at least the most vocal of them) see this as a gross violation of the Bill of
Rights. In theory, maybe it is a good idea, but the government or the industry is going to have to
come up with something a lot better than snooping into the computer's system registry to check
software. And because most software bought now is installed from CD and there is no way to
write information to a CD from a regular drive, there's no way to make sure that the program is
only installed to one computer.

Another problem with that is that a software license is good for (1) multiple users on one
computer or (2) one user on multiple computers. If there was even a way to make the above
solution work, it would cause someone to have to buy two copies of the program if he wanted it
on his desktop and laptop.

As is plain to be seen, all avenues have been thought of and explored, but none of the simpler
solutions will work. But I do not believe that means there is no solution.

Re: VERY bad idea [ 1 replies ] Posted by Chad Crosby on 1999-10-11
In an interview I conducted with Peter Beruk, VP of Anti-Piracy Programs at the Software &
Information Industry Association, we briefly touched on the Pentium III chip and the controversy
surrounding it. He said that a significant amount of misinformation has circulated about the chip
and it's use in controlling anti-piracy. He also said that it did raise serious issues regarding rights
of privacy, but if it could prove to be useful in reducing the $11 billion dollar issue software piracy
creates than he is all for it.

The thoughts of the masses [ 0 replies ] Posted by Kelly Chapman on 1999-10-11
It seems to me that many people (a lot of them computer junkies who tend to be paranoid and
excitable about the loss of their rights) are against any sort of tracking because they don't stand
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to lose as much as do the software companies. But they do have a very valid concern. The
government can not just snoop on people to make sure they're not doing bad.

What most people seem to not know is that the tapping of a computer needs to follow the same
procedures as that of a phone; there must be a warrant. Therefore, if a person is for good reason
and evidence suspected of a crime, a warrant can be obtained to tap his computer. There is no
authority in the country that allows Big Brother to investigate people without just cause. The most
paranoid among us suspect that's exactly what they do, however, entrapping people into
committing crimes along the way.

For the record, Chad, I agree with your interviewee that it is a good idea and I would love to be
able to buy my software for half of the current price because of a vast reduction of the money lost
every year. I say this only because I don't think I have much to hide, if some authority decided to
snoop on me. But if the authorities are able to track down and prosecute the operators of
websites with illegal software, with severe penalties, then snooping to some degree I think is
justified.

Ya just gotta watch out for the rights of the innocent.

>In an interview I conducted with Peter Beruk, VP of Anti-Piracy Programs at the Software &
Information Industry Association, we briefly touched on the Pentium III chip and the controversy
surrounding it. He said that a significant amount of misinformation has circulated about the chip
and it's use in controlling anti-piracy. He also said that it did raise serious issues regarding rights
of privacy, but if it could prove to be useful in reducing the $11 billion dollar issue software piracy
creates than he is all for it

Re: VERY bad idea [ 0 replies ] Posted by Chad Crosby on 1999-10-11
In an interview I conducted with Peter Beruk, VP of Anti-Piracy Programs at the Software &
Information Industry Association, we briefly touched on the Pentium III chip and the controversy
surrounding it. He said that a significant amount of misinformation has circulated about the chip
and it's use in controlling anti-piracy. He also said that it did raise serious issues regarding rights
of privacy, but if it could prove to be useful in reducing the $11 billion dollar issue software piracy
creates than he is all for it.

				
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