Software piracy: An overview


Software piracy is a combination of two different words which are software and piracy.

Software can be defined as generic term for computer programs which operate the computer itself; Also Microsoft Encarta dictionary defined the word software as programs and applications that can be run on a computer system. Piracy can simply be defined as the unauthorized reproduction, doubling and distributing or use of copyrighted materials; as for this software piracy can be the illegal copying of software for distribution within the organizations, schools, homes or to friends, clubs and other groups, or for duplication, selling, and installing multiple copies onto personal and work computers.

Citizens duplicate or copy software illegally from Macromedia, Adobe, Symantec, Autodesk, Microsoft, Grisoft e.t.c. Africa happens to be the world’s largest and second among the most heavily populated continent after Asia; it has different ethnic group. According to the piracy rate, Africa is one of the highest continents that has or make pirated soft wares in the world. With a 36% piracy rate, South Africa has the lowly piracy rate in Africa, where Nigeria and Kenya are the highest within the region as for 2000-2001 with 71% and 77% respectively as Zimbabwe has the highest in the world where South Africa has just one proportion above the overall average of 35%, according to the 3rd yearly International Data Corporation (IDC) and Business Software Alliance (BSA) overall software piracy study unconfined recently. South Africa’s piracy rate has decreased one proportion point in the current year, however still represents a 1.2b rand thrashing. The minor decrease in software piracy is qualified to government act and the obtaining of renowned laptops other than desktop computers full by local assemblers.

According to Stephan le Roux, the chairman of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in South Africa in the following site:

“Editor, Maricelle Ruiz, IBLS Director — Africa Wednesday, June 14, 2006”

“Software piracy ruins one of the main hurdles to understand the possible of the information economy in South Africa, on the continent and certainly roughly the world,” “As we are happy that piracy levels are dropping, there is still an anxiety for our local economy that over a third of software in use is against the law. This anxiety rises when you look at some countries in Africa, where as few as one in ten copies of packaged software are legally paid for.”

Due to the analysis made, the average rate for the African countries reviewed surpassed 70%, in Zimbabwe 90% of the software used is illegal and banned. Jointly with Vietnam, Zimbabwe has the maximum software piracy rate in the world. The mainstream of the African countries for which exact data is available – Cameroon (84%); Botswana and Ivory Coast, Algeria and Zambia (83%), Nigeria and Senegal (82%), Tunisia and Kenya (81%) have a piracy rate above 80%. The study estimates that the rest of the countries in Africa, incorporated under the entry of extra Africa, have an average piracy rate of 84%. Egypt has been running to turn out to be a center for Arabic software, but also it has a 64% piracy rate with proportion point lower than the preceding year; while Morocco, which has just been highly praised by the humanity Intellectual Property Organization for adopting dealings to improve its IP system, contained a 68% piracy rate four proportion points lower than the preceding time. Morocco is among the four countries with the leading proportion point in the preceding year.

According to Angola press, quoting Hlatshwayo in by bodo on 16/10/06 “Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Botswana and Kenya are named as the principal culprits; and As a result of piracy in Africa Microsoft lost $31 million between 2004 and 2006.”

Many African developing countries need to have IT staffs and implements ICT to joint the today’s global world, but to purchase single software is too expensive where they use this reason and makes piracy or uses pirated software; what ever be the case, reasons for copying or making piracy are categorized into 3: 1) purpose of use, 2) economic reasons, and 3) legal reasons.

Purpose of use

Reasons in this compilation transmit to the reason of use (non-commercial use, running purposes at home, studying, testing) or to the method of using the software (momentary use, compatibility reasons). The subsequent examples demonstrate these views: “It is satisfactory in non-business use (for example, studying); it is not satisfactory for trade purposes. You preserve not research by means of costly software earlier than you purchase it experimenting previously makes executive simple and gives self-assurance, I experience the licensing cost for many equipment foolishly patronize while I work at home in addition to at work.”

Economic reasons

In this compilation, the purpose for the illegal duplication of software is based on economic issues. According to respondents, the motives after these reasons are paucity (lack of money) and the wish to accumulate or save money (cost-benefit/efficiency). The subsequent extracts demonstrate these views: “In a family there is a jobless computer professional who needs to preserve and keep up his professional

Skills, but the family has no money, so the only opportunity is unlawful or illegal copying of computer software.” The cost-benefit association does not arrive up to hope. “think, for example, games, which one can only play from first to last once, and which outlay 250-350 Finnish marks” 50-70 USD/EURO.”

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Legal reasons

In this compilation, the purpose for illegal duplication of software is based on legal issues. According to respondents, the rule was measured conventional, or it does not believe duplication as illegal doings. Examples follow: “It is not unlawful for personal persons (in Finnish rule this subject is not an illegal offence as far as persons are concerned) the accessible rule is bad, hard and conventional concerning this issue.”

Software piracy is an act that is against the law and has many problems or harms; among the problems of software piracy are:

  • Software companies compact with very high losses due to software piracy.
  • Pirates expand a lot of money from their software piracy.
  • People are not attentive that what they are doing is a crime.

Reasons why the unauthorized copying of software is unacceptable are clustered into three different content categories: negative consequences, free software available, moral and legal reasons and other reasons.

Negative consequences

The reasons under this compilation are based on the perceived negative consequences of the unauthorized doubling of software. According to respondents, the duplication of software brings on the following kinds of harmful penalty: “the worth of software grow weaker, Systems run out since people in all-purpose are not paying software, the cost of software rises and the motion affects sincere and truthful users.” Some respondents wrote in ACM Digital library p-siponen: “It is possible that the software will weaken in quality, if the software does not bring in anything (widespread copying). The producers of programs lose money and their future production [of software] will suffer. The price of software stays high because only a few buy software.”

Moral and legal reasons

The respondent’s alleged wickedness at the same time as reasons against illegal copying of Software. Examples are as follows: “dishonesty; if unlawful software is used on behalf of earning then that work is morally wrong.” If software is duplicated destined for earning money or if it is copied in huge amounts or if individual earns one’s income through repetition or copying, I believe those actions wrong I have lawfully bought some of the software I use, but I also have copies of software. If I ever need program/programs for purposes of earning my living, I will definitely buy it/them.

The question here is Why Do Piracy Rates Differ? Generally unspecified factors to clarify piracy were grouped into four categories: economic factor, technical factor, regulatory factor and social factor. By looking at each of them individually:

Economic Factors. Researchers have long documented the consequence of software price in piracy. According to Shin et al after his research in ACM Digital Library p-bagchi “suggest that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita is inversely related to software piracy level. Given the decrease in software prices, it may be that a country’s GDP has less of an effect on piracy than it did some years ago”. GDP was bringing into being to be a major marker of piracy in 1996 however not in 2001 or in 2003. More, GDP only might give explanation barely 62%—63% of the difference in piracy. These findings may help clarify why dissimilar studies have indoors at dissimilar conclusions regarding the Role of GDP. It appears that the shrink in comparative cost of software has pointed the need for piracy. Specified the raise in piracy above this time, nevertheless, it follows that supplementary factors are concerned, and promote that these factors are rising in shock.

  • Technical Factors. Software piracy is assumed to be more widespread in nations with low IT infrastructure given that the eminence of existing software is minor. Thus, people frequently copy and work with pirated software. The difficulty is compounded as software revisions occur. While the necessitate to remain ready for action in the course of upgrades is essential, it is meaningful only if reasonable lots of researchers also consider that software piracy has also flourished through the beginning of the Internet given that some Web sites offer a complimentary software or at prices cheaper than the manufacturer’s.
  • Regulatory Factors. By commanding elevated tariffs, therefore ever-increasing the cost of software, governments may innocently support piracy. Developing nations repeatedly enforce elevated tariffs on computer products and thus their piracy rates are superior. It is also thought that low censures for import and elevated accessibility of pirated software are also reasons for piracy growth. Copyright rules are well thought-out foreign-induced, without problems understood and outlying fewer strictly forced. According to Meso et al in ACM Digital Library p-bagchi “he identified enforcement of copy write laws as a salient issue in the development of a sound national IT policy. However, governments do not consistently implement such rules, partly because of lax law-enforcement facilities and institutional traditions that tend to ignore corruption. Thus, while enforcement of intellectual property rights and proper education may alleviate the problem, in reality few offenders are caught or prosecuted. Occasional raid
  • s from law-enforcement authorities have seldom disturbed the flow of pirated software. In nations that allow pirated software to be sold at lower prices, black markets have flourished. Individuals and companies in these nations may not even be aware that buying pirated software is illegal since the software has an aura of legitimacy. The overall effect of low censure and easy availability can be captured by the indicator of corruption. Corruption can be defined as the charge of obtaining rights that merely the State can lawfully award, such as preference in loans, taxation, subsidies, tariffs, regulation, and government contracting.”
  • Social/Cultural Factors. These factors pass on to the established social or construction of a country and the attitudes joint by members of that society. Single assess of social or public structure is the merit between independence, an insecurely joined social network where people take care of themselves and collectivism, a strongly joined social network where the group reaction is strong. Software piracy is popular in collectivistic societies where people tend to create a psychological detachment among members of the in-group and the out-group. Obligations or devotion to in-groups are measured awfully essential, and in switch over people look forward to that members of in-groups will look after them. Out-groups, on the other hand are not deemed valuable of esteem, given that they do not donate to the broad comfort of the in-group. In such societies, software purchased by a person is estimated to be collective among members of the in-group. given that nearly all collectivistic societies lean to be third-world
  • or developing countries, software producers in overseas nations are viewed as out-group
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Even though software piracy is against the law there are certain companies that benefit from software piracy; according to the president of Microsoft Corp’s business division within a question at Morgan Stanley Technology Conference “the president Jeff Raikes, he admitted to facilitate the company’s benefits on or after software piracy in an obvious tilt of the hat to the open basis software giving out replica; he also added by saying there was a well line among seeing high numbers of consumers and making sure that they are using genuine products. He said our favorite objective is that we would like people to use our product. If they’re going to plagiarize someone, we would like it to be us to a certain extent than someone else, he further says. And that’s because we appreciate that in the long run the basic benefit is the install foundation of people who are working with our products.”

Also in addition to that, according to “Adrian a technology journalist and author who has devoted over a decade to helping users gets the most from technology. He also runs a popular blog called The PC Doctor. on 4 October 2006 said I have a propensity to control my property here to hardware related matters, but I experience forced to remark on the newest twistsin theWindows Genuine Advantage saga. This newest twist is the declaration that Windows Vista is to containtechnology comparable to WGA intoit.This statement came out on 4 October 2006viaMicrosoft Press Pass in the form of a press release announcing software protection platform (SPP).

Now, whileI don’t overlook software piracy for a minute, I use to get it tough tomake much compassionfor the Redmond monster. The method that Microsoft has implemented SPP and WGA doesn’t formulate it obvious that the judgment agreed on a PC can be flawed. As an alternative they areforcing individuals who by mistake accused of software piracy to excavate bottomless hooked on their pockets and come up with an additional $149, all because of a software virus. That isn’t just incorrect, it’s wickedness.

Allow me suggest the subsequent reaction to career: mistakenly condemning somebody of software piracy is in addition not victimless. See, the thing that bothers me concerning Windows Genuine Advantage and Software Protection Platform is not so much the technology but rather the Draconian way Microsoft is wielding this power over users. Microsoft is confidently dedicated to the perspective that everyone flagged as running a duplicated copy of Windows have to be running a duplicated copy. If the system works and just picks up on individuals running non-genuine copies of Windows, that’s great.”

The world believes that everything that has advantages must have disadvantages; after the advantage of software piracy according to some communities and companies; software piracy disadvantages many people through different ways like the pirate, manufacturers, permanent consumer.

  • If the pirate is caught, he or she spend time in prison, faces rigid and the company also decides to force down charges; a pirate is very liable to download a Trojan or even spy ware, but due to the fact that he likely does a lot of downloading in general, and also because many invented cracks and keygens are actually malware in costume.
  • If pirates are pirating software from a particular company, the company does not receive as much money for their product. To manufacture software can be very expensive, and the cost needs to be recouped in the shear bulk of sales. Due to lack of revolving large profit, they cannot have enough money to finance another round of development, research and also cannot produce new and enhanced versions.
  • The consumers has to deal with the improved anti-piracy safeguards, such as entering product activation key code, and sometimes even a special dongle one must plug into their computer; categorize the company who makes the software to offset the effects mentioned above, they have to increase the per-copy price of the software. Even Microsoft is not immune to this, that’s why they created a $300 version of windows vista, even though XP professional only cost perhaps $200.
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Software piracy has different issues like ethical, professional, social, and legal. Looking at the ethical and professional issues we have:

  • Programmers and the theater artists lose income when copying and repetition is frequent; due to extreme software piracy software companies loses a lot.
  • Certainly we have the freedom to make a copy for a friend, but are duplicating of software an act of sympathy on our part or an act that need kindness reaction from the programmer?
  • Even though large-scale marketable piracy is inferior, individual duplicating is still not ethical.
  • Pricing that is far lower than the manufacturer’s price can be a warning, but lots of people believe they are getting a good buy not a pirated program.

Social issues are:

  • There are lots of things we cannot find the money for; so not being able to afford software is not an excuse for duplicating it.
  • The amount and success of a company do not give reason for enchanting from it.
  • The quantity of people copying software does not verify if it is right or not.
  • People buy pirated software without realizing what they’re doing i.e. without knowing the implications of doing it.
  • Customers use to buy products, such as books and CDs that can be shared with friends and family.
  • There are lots of ways customers can be fooled; in the sense that a pirated software dealer can sale many soft wares with a single key to the customers and within some days the software will request for original key.

Legal issues are:

  • But if you buy Windows, it doesn’t belong to you, it’s Microsoft’s; they’re just leasing you use it.
  • Software piracy gets 7 years in prison
  • Is against the copyright law

There are certain options to reduce software piracy; the solutions are categorized into four, namely ethical, social, legal, and market. We have protection under ethical, applying laws under legal, education under social and detection under market.

  • Make sure the protection of leisure industry, publishers and software companies’ savings expected, or hoped-for revenues.
  • Apply on hand laws, policy, guidelines or increase new ones to protect copyright owners, but also to look after fair use, sensible community access, and the chance to use new technologies to the fullest to supply new services.
  • Technical, executive and lawful solutions include technologies to frighten duplication, selling and contractual changes that reduce the motivation to duplicate unlawfully.
  • Educating with reference to the purpose for copyright guard, enforcement and reconsideration of copyright law.
  • Ensure that citizens who work in manufacturing, marketing, and management are paid for the time and exertion they put to produce the vague academic property we benefit from.

Also in addition to how to reduce or avoid software piracy in Africa on Monday, 30 July 2007 an article was released in with the following heading: China in Raids to Limit Software Piracy in Africa “The fight against computer software piracy in Africa has received a boost following raids and arrests made in southern China over the last two weeks, the result of the largest investigation of its kind in the world. The Public Security Bureau (PSB) in China, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and hundreds of personal companies and allies have been functioning as one to crack a most important software forging association. The association was supposedly liable for distributing US$2 billion (about P12.3 billion) value of forged Microsoft software to 27 countries around the world, as well as Nigeria. Not only did this putting off software resellers from making lawful revenues, it also bare users to the risks related with using pirated software. The forged goods detained in the raids comprised 13 of Microsoft’s most well-liked products, counting Windows Vista, Office 2007, Office 2003, Windows XP and Windows Server. “Microsoft appreciates the work of China’s Public Security Bureau in taking such burly enforcement action with these arrests and raids in southern China,” said Abednego Hlatshwayo, Anti-Piracy Manager at Microsoft East and Southern Africa.

This issue is supposed to serve as a come around call to forgers. Consumers and other organizations in the region of the world are revolving you in, and important act will be taken to defend intellectual property.”

In conclusions I learn that the software company is an area where home businesses can compete well with multinationals in both local and foreign markets. Yet, without suitable security in less-developed countries mainly African countries where piracy rates are reasonably higher, software pirates can devastate the income streams of small companies that have managed to effectively create particular niches in the companies. That piracy could be helpful to companies without the occurrence of Network effect. If customers have major dissimilarities in their minor value of Money, piracy can shrink competition and increase company’s earnings. The solution to the Assessment is the fact that the same amount of money represents different worth to different customers. Poor customers usually value money more than rich customers. The companies therefore need to appoint in more excited competitions to attract these customers, which could be harmful on the whole profits of the company. And all software companies should joint Hand and tackle the pirates via applying laws, educating and detecting them.


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