Motivations behind software piracy : from the viewpoint of computer ethics theories
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201405241494
|Publish Date:|| 2014-05-26
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Computer Ethics is a study of ethical issues that are related mainly with computing machines and computing profession. The features of internet that, it is global and interactive, it allows users to stay anonymous, and it enables reproducibility of information possible unlike before makes the online behavior morally different. Computer ethics studies the nature and social influence of computing machines and ethical issues in formulating and justification of policies.
Software Piracy, which is the unauthorized use or copying of software illegally, has become a major problem for businesses and it is widespread in many parts of the world which led to drain of economy. As the access to use computer grows, the percentage for using pirated software also grows. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Software Publishers Association (SPA) made estimation (2010) that there are two-ten illegal copies of software are available for every legal copy of software sold.
Software piracy is one of the most remarkable among computer ethics’ breaches. Unlike other activities like hacking and security breaches, which are outright illegal, software piracy technically covers a gray area of ethical principles, as they relate to computers and information technology. This is because people might inadvertently commit the act without realizing that they are ethically/morally/legally wrong. When one buys software, it means that they actually are buying the software license but not the software. This is similar to artistic copyrights, where a composer/artist holds the license to his work and gains monetary compensation on a licensing basis. However, the ease with which the software can be copied makes it difficult to exercise licensing rights. One of the ways to counter software piracy is to understand the motivations behind it and create awareness.
The purpose of this research is to understand the principles of computing ethics in-depth and use this knowledge to understand what drives average people to commit acts of software piracy. The purpose is to use this information to create awareness among general public regarding software piracy.
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