"Piracy: A 1 Billion Dollar Scandal in the UK"

Essay by blackfrankwhiteHigh School, 12th gradeA, October 2006

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Presentation of the Issue:

Yearly, billions of dollars worth of software is copied illegally throughout the world. In some nations, the copying of software is done in large quantities and is mostly done by people rather than businesses or organizations. One of the major reasons for this is because these people, in general, don't see it as a great problem on a social and economic level. As Dr. Bryce, a senior lecturer in psychology, said in an article published on software piracy: "They just don't see it as theft. They just see it as inevitable, particularly as new technologies become available".

In the UK, software piracy has been a major problem for industries and businesses like the Business Software Alliance (BSA) for the past decade. A survey was published six months ago illustrating that 27 % percent of software on computers in the UK are illegal, slightly less than the 37 % European average.

Consumers perceive software piracy as a cheap way of purchasing new technologies that are available. One could agree with this point as it is true however, it has a significant crash on employment, economic growth and public spending as more and more companies and industries are decreasing in sales through the loss intellectual property.

The IT Background of the Issue:

Software piracy is practiced by individual PC users as well as computer professionals who deal with stolen applications. For some countries in the developing world, a whole business can revolve around piracy. Individuals can download software from P2P networks such as Ares, Lime Wire or Morpheus. They transfer the software into a CD and make counterfeit copies for sale. This type of software (type that you find on P2P networks) is referred to as Warrez and has commonly been cracked to make it usable by anyone...