Information Technology

In: Science

Information Technology

Software piracy, define as the unauthorized use, distribution, duplication or sale of commercially available software, has become a global issue. In fact, almost one-third of all installed software is pirated (Jansma, 2004). Software pirates are responsible for over $10 billion in lost revenue (Hess, 2003). Each industry must protect its own intellectual property. The three most important aspects in helping to resolve piracy is knowing the processes and techniques in capturing piracy, identifying the motivating factors, and prevention.
How do organizations capture pirates? There are three processes that can help software companies catch violators: monitoring, preserving evidence, and taking action. The first step is for companies to determine the extent of its piracy problem and monitor the online channels (Hess, 2003, p.4). Once the extent of the problem is identified, online monitoring should be implemented to discover the details. The two types of monitoring are in-house and outsourcing. The advantage of using the in-house monitoring program is that it saves money and the staff gains firsthand knowledge of the strategies that are used. Outsourcing the monitoring can be expensive, but the main advantage is that the service is extensive and uses systematic monitoring (Hess, 2003, p.5). Most pirated software is sold on auction websites, such as eBay, Yahoo! Auctions, and Amazon.com Auctions (Hess, 2003, p.5). Approximately, 60-90% of the software products offered in online auctions are illegal (Hess, 2003, .5) Software companies should monitor auction sites to see if their product is being sold illegally. Auction sites are easy to monitor because of the search criteria and categories. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks and FTP servers are other channels that help spread illegal software. Software can be obtained illegally using these avenues because the servers often function as “underground” operations (Hess, 2003, p. 6). Results from monitoring should be documented to...

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