Held Monday, April 24, 2000
Today we consider issues of software piracy.
Question 45 for discussion today: When, if ever, is software piracy appropriate?
Question 46 for discussion Tuesday: Where do you stand on the continuum from total privacy to total efficiency? Do you think that either privacy or efficiency is more important, or that a balance can be achieved between the two? How do computers affect the balance between individual rights and organizational responsibilities? Are privacy and protection issues complementary or at odds?
|Monday, April 24||Kevin||Software Piracy: Forester and Morrison Chapter 3|
|Tuesday, April 25||Cathy||The Invasion of Privacy: Forester and Morrison Chapter 6|
|Wednesday, April 26||Sam||Questions to stimulate discussion: Forester and Morrison Appendix|
|Friday, April 28||Jae||Analog Computation: Dewdney 33|
|Monday, May 1||Jeana||Storing Images: Dewdney 47|
|Tuesday, May 2||Adan||Disk Operating Systems: Dewdney 53|
|Wednesday, May 3||Liz||Operating Systems: To Be Determined|
|Friday, May 5||Ivy||Computerizing the Workplace: Forester and Morrison 8|
|Monday, May 8||Jeff||Birthdays; Random Numbers|
|Tuesday, May 9||Joel||Core Wars: Reading to be determined|
Today's class will be two-fold: Kevin will begin with an introduction to the law behind software theft, and then hold a class discussion about some of the questions below.
It would be nice if someone would volunteer to record the discussion, but it's not really necessary.
http://www.siia.net/piracy/default.htm for the Software
Publishers Association's page on software piracy and for a more in-depth
http://www.siia.net/piracy/programs/usc.htm for Kevin's
primary source, the Software Publishers Association page on the US Code.
The SPA does have the right to initiate proceedings.
Copying of software for any reasons other than back-up is an infringement of the software creator's exclusive right to distribute and copy the program.
Illegally copying software on an individual, sharing-with-a-friend basis can result in the author of the software getting damages and any profits back from the infringer, or statutory damages of between $500 and $20,000. The individual accused may also be put in jail for up to 3 years if he/she is a first-time offender.
``Software Piracy,'' or illegally copying software for personal financial gain or commercial advantage, can result in fines of up to $250,000 or a five year stint in the ``big house,'' but only if the software is copied at least ten times and is worth at least $2500.
Is copying software morally acceptable even though it's not legally acceptable?
Can we protect against the copying of software, or will the criminals always be ahead of the technology?
Should we make the software copyright laws stronger, and if so, how would we do that?
Because of the ease of copying of software, should we just forget trying to curtail it and just make all software open-source? (The Richard Stallman Technique)
Does software piracy really stifle the creativity of the software market, as Forester and Morrison claim, or is that just blowing the problem out of proportion?
Is copying of programs actually helpful insofar as this copying permits more budding programmers the opportunity to get ideas on how these programs could be improved?
I don't really expect to get to those questions, but I think it's important that they are at least there for the members of the class to consider on their own.
Saturday, 22 January 2000
Monday, 26 April 2000
Disclaimer Often, these pages were created "on the fly" with little, if any, proofreading. Any or all of the information on the pages may be incorrect. Please contact me if you notice errors.
This page may be found at http://www.math.grin.edu/~rebelsky/Courses/CS105/2000S/Outlines/outline.45.html
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