Software Piracy Essay

2153 Words9 Pages
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
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A rather unique strategy used by American software manufactures helps raise local interest in stopping software piracy. Companies invest money to begin software corporations in foreign countries. After a few years, the US companies hope that the new, foreign companies will initiate their own anti-piracy organizations (Weisband 30). Microsoft has led the venture by creating small software companies to help battle piracy. By doing this, the companies would want to report piracy because they would be losing money just like American companies are doing now (Weisband 33). The Software Publishers Association, based in Washington, D.C., was developed to combat software piracy. As of 1993 the SPA has brought more than 1300 court cases against software pirates. The SPA has a toll-free number that has helped catch many pirates and prosecute them (O' Malley 50). The SPA is not merely a law enforcement agency. It meets twice a year with representatives from software companies. Together they decide how to make their software better and also how to better serve the consumer. In the spring 1993 conference the SPA decided that if software packages could develop a standard way to clearly label a software box, the consumer would immediately know if the program would run well on his computer. This labeling would help reduce the number of software returns in stores (Karnes 4). Since software stores cannot resell returned software, the
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