Assignment 2: Final Project—Privacy Guidelines

Internet Usage

Jessica Arroyo

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A software license is a document that provides legally binding guidelines for the use and distribution of software. Software licenses typically provide end users with the right to one or more copies of the software without violating copyrights (Swinyard, et.al 1990). The license also defines the responsibilities of the parties entering into the license agreement and may impose restrictions on how the software can be used. Software licensing terms and conditions usually include fair use of the software, the limitations of liability, warranties and disclaimers and protections if the software or its use infringes on the intellectual property rights of others(Swinyard, et.al 1990). Software licenses typically are either proprietary, free or open source, the distinguishing feature being the terms under which users may redistribute or copy the software for future development or use.

Sharewareis commercial software that is distributed free to users, eventually either requiring or encouraging users to pay for the continued support of the software (Swinyard, et.al 1990). You might see shareware in formats that paywall advanced features or offer the full package for a limited time. Some software might even be fully functional and backed solely by voluntary donations. It was first introduced in the early 1980s, with its popularity rising in the 1990s as personal computing moved into the mainstream in both offices and homes (Swinyard, et.al 1990). The format allows software developers to get their products into the hands of potential users for a test run, in hopes that they decide to purchase the fully functional version of the program. Shareware is also popular with gamers, as it gives them a chance to try a new game on a limited basis before purchasing the full version (Nehemiah, et.al 2021). Like other types of software, shareware is not necessarily a bad thing to avoid at all costs. Many shareware products are legitimate. But even legitimate products can have weaknesses.

Copyright law are perhaps those laws which are breached the most by individual on a daily basis (Nehemiah, et.al 2021). This is because one might not know be informed about this law or because not much is done to enforce this law. Also, some countries of the world have no Copyright laws. Software Piracy is a breach of a copyright law as one copies data contained on the medium on to another medium without the consent of the owner of the Software (Nehemiah, et.al 2021). When one buys a software, one buys not the software content and therefore it isn’t one’s property. Instead, one buys the license to use the software with accordance to the licensing agreement.

Many people these days are guilty of being “software pirates”. “Software piracy is the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software. This can be done by copying, downloading, sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies onto personal or work computers.” (Business Software Alliance) ( Nehemiah, et.al 2021). They justify their actions by claiming they are stealing from the huge corporate companies that are out there making money off of us and do not care about their customers. This way of thinking overlooks the real fact those very actions are the ones hurting customers and those who follow the rules. The process of software piracy is simple, one would usually purchase a single license copy to use a company’s product on a computer.

However, it is also a huge source for illegal activities such as software piracy. Everyday there are websites and hosts that are being shut down due to having illegal copies of software available from them for downloading. Something else to be taken into account is: the rate at which the internet continues to grow (Thelwall, et.al 2016). This being said, it allows for people to quickly get their hands on something in a matter of minutes. Back when the internet was a lot slower, people were less likely to download illegal copies of software being the fact that the file sixes are humongous and would have taken forever to download on dial up rather than five to 10 minutes on DSL, as stated on the Adobe website ‘Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection’ file size 7 Gigabytes (GB). Potential pirates would have rather just gone out and purchased a legit copy they knew would work and was backed up by the company’s legitimacy(Thelwall, ET.AL 2016). Now with the speed increase, people can download cracked and hacked copies of software, and should one source not work, they can access plenty more until they find a working copy.

References:

Thelwall, M., & Kousha, K. (2016). Academic Software Downloads from Google Code: Useful Usage Indicators?. Information Research: An International Electronic Journal21(1), n1.

Nehemiah, K. P., & Adinyira, E. (2021). Effects of scheduling software usage on project schedule management processes: A study of some selected construction projects in Accra (Doctoral dissertation).

Swinyard, W. R., Rinne, H., & Kau, A. K. (1990). The morality of software piracy: A cross-cultural analysis. Journal of Business Ethics9(8), 655-664.

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