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An Investigation of Software Piracy in China - Software Piracy Lacks Ethical Merit

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An Investigation of Software Piracy in China - Software Piracy Lacks Ethical Merit

“Well, sir, from the sound of it, you've got yourself some pirated software.

I'm afraid there's nothing we can do to help you.”

1. BSA Statistics 30

1. Introduction

Software piracy is a rampant global problem, according to the Seventh Annual Global Software Piracy Study by the Business Software Alliance. The rate of software piracy varies significantly across the world, though no country is without it. Vietnam was rated the largest trouble spot in 2001 with a whopping 94% piracy rate, with China and Indonesia not very far behind (at 92% and 88% respectively).

During the early days of personal computing, software piracy was a small problem primarily limited to individuals trading computer games for personal use. Today, software piracy is no longer solely the domain of teenagers looking to get games for free; even legitimate organizations routinely use pirated software.

In the following sections, this discussion will meander from identifying the problem of software piracy, what exactly software piracy means, the obstacles of enforcing copyright laws, the impact of software piracy and an analysis from different ethical vantage points.

1.1. The Problem

Software piracy is the illegal duplication, distribution or use of software through one of the following methods:

·"Soft-lifting"—installing software onto more than one computer without proper licensing

· Counterfeiting

· Hard disk loading—selling computers that are preloaded with illegal copies of software

· Rental

· OEM unbundling—selling software that is legally sold only when bundled with another package

· The Internet

The main methods by which this activity is carried ...

... middle of paper ...

...andard for China as well as the rest of the world.

References

1 http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html

2 http://www.siia.net/piracy/copyright/risk.asp

3 http://www.most.gov.cn/English/Polocys/copyright_law.htm

4 http://global.bsa.org/usa/press/newsreleases/2003-05-01.1575.phtml

5 http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/agrm7_e.htm

6 http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/09/26/piracy_unlimited/index1.html

7 http://www.wipo.org/edocs/notdocs/en/berne/treaty_berne_186.html

8 http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2003/tc20030210_2338_tc058.htm

9 http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2003-10/02/content_269098.htm

10 Seventh Annual BSA Global Software: Piracy Study, www.bsa.org/usa/policyres/admin/2002-06-10.130.pdf

Appendix

1. BSA Statistics www.bsa.org/usa/policyres/admin/2002-06-10.130.pdf
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