Not all pirates live in the sea: my thoughts on software piracy

GIVE AND TAKE

When I was still a college student, one of my dreams is to buy albums of my favorite artists. I have always wanted to, but I cannot yet afford to buy them and also paying for their shipping fees. I struggled to save money but isn’t just enough. Being the desperate girl I am, I resorted to the cheapest and easiest alternative, which is downloading the artist’s album tracks over the Internet. I had lots of their songs saved on my phone, but little did I know that doing so is illegal! Especially when it is ripped from the original album and uploaded on the Internet for distribution.

So after that, I stopped downloading songs illegally. And staring on I diligently saved enough money to have authorized music streaming and buying original physical albums of my favorite artists. I even managed to buy concert tickets and watch them personally. Not only it is legal, I have also supported their music and contributed to their sales and success.

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My babies as a result of my constant #iponing. Finally bought original albums. Yay!

PIRACY IS THEFT’S CLOSEST RELATIVE

Copyrighted music is also like software. Up to now illegal copies of software are circulating the internet and a lot of people are still downloading and using it. What’s sad is that many of us do not realize that patronizing pirated software hurts the software business because only little money is being returned from their huge investments, thus making them discouraged to continue developing and selling their works. Pirated software users will often say that everyone does it and buying an original copy is a waste of money, but then it does not mean that it becomes a right thing when many people do it. And of course, a software is a product of a programmer’s efforts and money invested, and they need to return their investments to continue its support and development.

If you really wanted to have the latest version of Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop installed on our computers, then you have to save enough money to buy a licensed version. People should realize that making software is a creative process and the creator can charge a certain amount for its distribution.

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According to a 2012 Business Software Alliance (BSA) survey (data taken from The Huffington Post), 57 percent of the world’s computer users confess to pirating software. That is more than half of the netizens. It is also prevalent in developing countries where buying original software is considered a luxury. There might be anti-piracy laws passed in these countries but its implementation and monitoring is not effective. But then, is it a valid reason to copy pirated software? Of course not! It is a serious offense to steal someone’s intellectual property, especially when it is for sale.

BUT HOW CAN THIS BE STOPPED?

To combat this illegal acts, software companies should represent as collective group to lobby to the government the protection of their rights. They should take pro-active measures in mitigating software piracy, such as monitoring and reporting websites and users that illegally distribute their software and giving incentives or freebies to users who use copyrighted software. There are a lot of ways to kill a cat, and so does cutting down software piracy.

In the end, it is still the user who will be greatly affected from the consequences of software piracy. Whether he has an idea that downloading it is illegal or he was just an innocent user who was just dragged into the crime, ignorance of the law excuses no one. Help the person who help make your work easier by buying a legal copy of their software.

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Source:

Fitzgerald, B. (2012). Software Piracy: Study Claims 57 Percent Of The World Pirates Software. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/software-piracy-study-bsa_n_1563006.html

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