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What if there were no software piracy?

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1 Author(s)
K. Dakin ; Dakin Lawtek, Englewood, CO, USA

Software companies often perceive loss to piracy as a routine cost of doing business, but it is a huge one: in 1996, the software industry lost $15.2 billion worldwide to theft. If you are a software developer, some part of this loss is yours. If it were within your power to stop piracy, what would you gain? You must answer this question before you can make rational decisions on whether to condone piracy or commit additional resources to fight it. The end of piracy would be like the end of the Cold War in microcosm. Barriers to international interaction would be significantly reduced. Software developers could boldly engage in a truly global commerce, without fear that their investment of time and money would be constantly at risk. Our main piracy concern would be to maintain technical superiority over those who would prefer a return to the lawless days. With a better picture of the benefits, you can determine the investment you should make toward ending piracy. You can invest in anti-piracy technology, establish a "no tolerance" policy on piracy in the workplace and at home, and educate the public about your rights and those of others engaged in creative pursuits.

Published in:

IEEE Software  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )