Software piracy has become a big issue nowadays. It has seemed that it has become available to anyone at any time. From small shopping malls to unscrupulous computer retailers a few blocks down the street, computer programs are sold to a pittance.
Software piracy is the illegal copying, distribution or use of software. Because it is such a profitable “business”, many organized crime groups have taken notice of it in a number of countries. Countries like Russia and China have become main centers of software piracy, the main reasons being comparatively low salary and disposable income.
Many developing countries, Philippines being included, would fall behind industrialized ones technologically if they cannot afford access to this new generation of software because they are expensive but would it be reasonable to blame someone for using pirated software when it costs about two months of someone’s salary to buy the original and legal copy?
Yes, even when the reasons for using this pirated software are understandable, it still does not absolve anyone from the fact that you broke the law and took advantage of the situation and steal from the minds of those who worked hard to create the system, grabbing them off of their intellectual rights. As the famous saying goes, the end does not justify the means.
There are approaches a software company can take to combat the problem. One, the can reinforce their rights against IP infringement. The issue of companies is not about the price per se but protecting the work made by their developers.
Two, the number of users and the range of devices that use these applications are now so many it is possible for developers to lower their prices to a level that makes it reasonable to buy than copy. I can be usable to many devices so that more people can buy it and developers can lower the price. In turn, more devices can also be made to accommodate more users for the applications.
Three, software companies can also partner with government agencies such as the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and the OMB (Optical Media Board) in safeguarding their rights against piracy.
Piracy is a sickness in our system brought about by the need to use the software to ease the jobs for us but it is in no way an excuse for us to commit such unethical acts against those who worked hard to provide us with tools to make our lives easier.