Computer Software Piracy and it's Impact on the International Economy
The PC industry is over twenty years old. In those twenty years, evolving software
technology brings us faster, more sophisticated, versatile and easy-to-use products.
Business software allows companies to save time, effort and money. Educational
computer programs teach basic skills and complicated subjects. Home software now
includes a wide variety of programs that enhance the users productivity and creativity.
The industry is thriving and users stand to benefit along with the publishers. The SPA
(Software Publishers Association) reports that the problem of software theft has grown,
and threatens to prevent the development of new software products. Unauthorized
duplication of software is known as software piracy which is a 'Federal offense that
affects everyone" ('Software Use...' Internet). The following research examines
software piracy in its various forms, its impact on the end user and the international
industry as a whole, and the progress that has been made in alleviating the problem.
Software piracy harms all software companies and ultimately, the end user. Piracy
results in higher prices for honest users, reduced levels of support and delays in funding
and development of new products, causing the overall breadth and quality of software to
suffer" ('What is..." Internet). Even the users of unlawful copies suffer from their own
illegal actions: they receive no documentation, no customer support and no information
about product updates ('Software Use...' Internet).
The White Paper says that while virtually every software publisher expresses
concern about their software from unauthorized duplication, over time, many have
simply accepted the so-called 'fact' that such duplication is unavoidable. This has
created an atmosphere in which software piracy is commonly accepted as 'just another
cost of doing business' ('With the Growth...' Internet).
In a brochure published by the SPA it is stated that a...