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What is Software Piracy

The PC industry is just over 20 years old. In those 20 years, both the quality and quantity of available software programs have increased dramatically. Although approximately 70% of the worldwide market is today supplied by developers in the United States, significant development work is occurring in scores of nations around the world. But in both the United States and abroad, unauthorized copying of personal computer software is a serious problem. On average, for every authorized copy of personal computer software in use, at east one unauthorized copy is made.

Unauthorized copying is known as software piracy, and in 1994 it cost the software industry in excess of US$15 billion. Piracy is widely practiced and widely tolerated. In some countries, legal protection for software is nonexistent (i. e. , Kuwait); in others, laws are unclear (i. e. Israel), or not enforced with sufficient commitment (i. e. , the PRC). Significant piracy losses are suffered in virtually every region of the world. In some areas (i. e. , Indonesia), the rate of unauthorized copies is elieved to be in excess of 99%.

Why do People Use Pirated Software? A major reason for the use of pirated software is the prices of the REAL thing. Just walk into a CompUSA, Electronics Boutique, Computer City, Egghead, etc and you will notice the expensive price tags on copies of the most commonly used programs and the hottest games. Take the recent Midwest Micro holiday catalogue for example and notice the prices. Microsoft Windows 95: $94, Microsoft Office 95: $224, Microsoft Visual C++: $250, Borland C++: $213, Corel

Draw 7: $229, Corel Office Professional 7: $190, Lotus Smartsuite 96: $150, Microsoft Flight Simulator95: $50, Warcraft 2: $30. The list goes on and on and the prices for the programs listed above were only upgrade versions. Users of the software listed above include anywhere from large companies like AT&T to yourself, the average user at home. Although a $30 game like Warcraft 2 doesn’t seem like much, by the time you finish reading this paper, it will seem like a fortune.

Ease of Availability Since the law states clearly that making a copy of what you own nd distributing it or installing more than one copy of one piece of software on two separate computers is illegal, then why do the average Joes like you and us still do it? There are many answers to that question and all of them seem legitimate except that no answers can be legally justified. A friend borrowing another friend’s Corel draw or Windows 95 to install on their own PC is so common that the issue of piracy probably doesn’t even come to mind right away or even at all.

Pirated Software on the Internet The Internet is sometimes referred to as a “Pirate’s Heaven. Pirated software is available all over the net if you bother to look for them. Just go to any of the popular search engines like Excite, Infoseek or Yahoo and type in the common phrase “warez, appz, gamez, hacks” and thousands of search results will come up. Although many of the links on the pages will be broken because the people have either moved the page or had the page shut down, some of the links will work and that one link usually has a decent amount of stuff for you to leech off of or a better way to put it is for you to download.

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