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wrote...
Posts: 238
A month ago
You are the proprietor of a fledgling computer graphics company in Shanghai, China. The sophisticated business application software you need for your business normally sells for 2,900 renminbi (around $350) at computer stores in Shanghai and online. But with an income of just over $5,000 a year, you cannot afford to buy the original graphics software for your business. An associate has told you she can get you all the software you need, and more, for only $30. Yet, you have financially strapped friends who code software for the global software companies that make the very programs you need.

Do your personal circumstances make it ethical for you to purchase the pirated software?

What would you do if you were told of a new government effort to actively punish users of pirated software?

Does a software company bear any responsibility for subcontracting work to low wage markets where its finished product is unaffordable for the same coders who worked on it?
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all is normal
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Answer verified by a subject expert
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Posts: 226
4 weeks ago
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Quote
Do your personal circumstances make it ethical for you to purchase the pirated software?
A:  Entrepreneurs who have just started a company with limited resources may turn to pirated software to keep cost down. Is the use of the pirated software justified? Is it ethical to assume that this software is available over the internet for free or from colleagues at reduced prices ethical? I think most would conclude that software piracy is not only illegal, but completely unethical. However, student responses will vary.

Quote
What would you do if you were told of a new government effort to actively punish users of pirated software?
A: Student answers will vary. Many students will probably hold the belief that online software piracy is not a serious offense. However, with the government actively exerting an effort to punish users, the possibility of criminal punishment would make them reconsider. 

Quote
Does a software company bear any responsibility for subcontracting work to low wage markets where its finished product is unaffordable for the same coders who worked on it?
A: This question forces students to consider the piracy issue from the perspective of a budding entrepreneur who cannot possibly afford the legal version of the software. One option that students often suggest is for companies to offer their products at reduced prices in markets where piracy is rampant. However, the company must be able to ensure that products are not then re-exported to other wealthier markets and sold at the official price—earning pirates a huge profit. Another is the precedent that is set for other markets—all people need to do to have companies reduce their prices would be to start an underground market. The position most students might arrive at is for multinationals to fight piracy but to be less forceful in the poorest markets.
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