Free Essay

Digital Piracy

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By Metalgod542
Words 1577
Pages 7
Digital piracy is making up profit from illegal copying and reselling music, videos, software videogames and other digital media which requires genuine. In 2005, loses of legal media and software industry from digital piracy was $200 billion (DSTI/IND (2007). Also, Oberholzer-Gee (2010) indicates that 60% of World Wide Web broadband busy by consumers’ video, game and music sharing. To avoid this issue intellectual proprietors use various methods. In this paper is shown methods to dodge problem of digital piracy.

There are two ways to protect legal digital content from piracy. Firstly, there is indirectly impact to society, where manufacturers are producing additional equipment like guitars for game “Guitar Hero” and forwarding special social services where people can play with each other via internet, so while people playing, system is checking license (Goel, 2010). In addition, companies perform free software with fewer options than paid software. Moreover, some organizations such as Free Software Association and Open Source agitation, which advert spreading software for free have helped to grapple with problem of expensive software and companies that gain from this, for example, Microsoft (Hill, 2007). Secondly, there is direct impact on users, where companies and internet providers use methods which impacts directly on users such as blocking peer-to-peer connections between users and web-sites where users can download pirated software. Furthermore, closing the sources of piracy is supported by governments of countries such as China (Tong, 2008). In this paper is shown methods to protect against piracy such as copy-protected software, closing sources of piracy, legislation and distribution of free soft. Each of solution will be described in 3 properties: effects in society, current state and effectiveness of the method. Moreover, paper demonstrates that no of these methods are not working alone in effective way.

In the 21st century the digital media and software industry are going to be one of the most profitable businesses and an annual growth of the industry is significant. For example, according to Adobe Corporation’s annual revenue report (2008) an income of the company was 724 millions of dollars in 2007 and income had grown by 148 million dollars to 872 million in 2008. Also, Goel claims that the U.S. music record industry’s income doubled in the last decade of 20th century from $7.5 billion in 1990 to $8.5 billion in 1999. In spite of these profits, companies lose large quantity of money from illegal copying of their products. The Business Software Alliance (2005) says that in 2004 the software industry had lost $33 billion from digital piracy. However, not only software industry has sheer loss from piracy, also, music and film industries took fewer profits from illegal copying. In addition, the rate of pirated media on computers is different. In comparison, in U.S. this number equals 21% and in China pirated software are installed on 90% of computers (Hill, 2007). So comprehensive rate of a piracy in China is caused by weak controlled legislation (ibid). To conclude, the piracy is a considerable problem and the society should deal with this problem, because piracy is not just copying, it is stealing.

In every region of world, there are different causes of piracy. Firstly, the main cause of piracy is human agency. In terms of one person, one pirated music file or one video game is not significant. However, in terms of whole internet society, it will be significant amount of money which equals $50 billion per year (Hill, 2007). People are downloading pirated software by different reasons, such as: unavailability of legal software in special region, too high pricing for programs or just miserliness. Secondly, the cause of piracy is the expansion of internet services as peer-to-peer file sharing, such as eDonkey, torrent or direct sharing. Moreover, there are sites with freely available to download illegal media and software content (Goel, 2010). For instance, Daily Variety Gotham (2006) writes that Spain has got the highest piracy rate in Western Europe as half of Spanish internet broadband is peer-to-peer connections between users. The first incident with widespread illegal peer-to-peer sharing was a Napster website with decentralized file sending system. As a result, these files were shared without any payments to record studios and music owners (Goel, 2006). Subsequently, by spreading high-speed internet connections and by refining video formats the video piracy is going to increase (Goel, 2006). Now it is much easier to download video file with pirated movie than 4 years ago. In comparison, the estimated time of downloading 700 megabyte movie is taken 30 minutes in 2010, while 4 years ago, in 2006 it was taken from 6 to 10 hours (The Global Broadband Speed Test, 2010).

Currently, there are 3 topmost methods to protect legal media from pirates. For instance, they are watermarking of media, using license keys and obfuscation of software parts. Firstly, watermarking of the media files depends on the type of media file. For instance, for video and images are using respectively video watermarking and image watermarking (Kwok and Yang, 2003). One of this methods Cox watermarking can be used for audio files watermarking which provides enough safety to media producers and convenience to users (ibid). Cox’s method based on the usage of 3 ID’s: ID of producer, ID of reseller and ID of consumer (ibid). At the reseller’s storage media files are saved with producer’s and reseller’s IDs (ibid). Next, when consumer purchases digital goods, consumer’s ID appends and file is available to usage (ibid). However, delivery time of media file to user and size of resellers’ media storage depends significantly on the algorithm of protecting (ibid). For example, one-bit watermarking needs more delivery time but less storage. In comparison, multiple-bit watermarking technology needs less delivery time but more storage space to save pre-prepared copyright-protected media files (ibid). Secondly, usage of license keys is the most used method to protecting digital goods from piracy (Anckaert, De Sutter, De Bosschere, 2004). This method based on sharing product keys to consumers which activate and make available to use software’s or media files.
Firstly, properties of copy-protected software and media are demonstrated in this paragraph. There are many varieties of the legal media protection from copying. For instance, there are obfuscation of parts in software and watermarking of media files (Collberg, 2002). Currently, the most used algorithm for protect legal software is using license keys and this method is useful. The first process, obfuscation makes software more secured and hard to hack (ibid). This method is appropriable, because it helps to avoid using non-obfuscated parts of code to creating pirates’ own applications and to hack legal software (ibid). The main way to check authenticity of intellectual property is the validation of the special key through internet. On the other hand, this solution can be harmful because it causes several negative effects for users such as: user need internet connection or somebody can steal user’s license key (ibid). On the other hand, hackers can create key generators, which can be used for illegal software usage. Efficiency of protection from piracy by this way decreases rate of illegal software significantly.

The second method to protect from piracy is closing and seizing websites by government. The main feature of this method is that governments of countries are supporting this method and are shutting websites with illegal distribution of pirated media. For example, torrents.ru was one of the first torrent-tracker websites in Russia which closed “for being an illegal source of computer software, films and music, and violating authors’ rights” (Interfax, 2010). Russian Government has taken the offensive, however they didn’t punish website owners (ibid). So, authors of torrents.ru just moved website to another mirror called rutracker.org (ibid). Also, NY Times (2006) reports that in the morning of 26th of November situation like this was happened in U.S. where ICE office of Homeland Security Investigations seized approximately 70 websites with pirated video, music, games and films. However, NY Times wrote that in the evening 26th of November mirror sites, which were made for serve seized sites, were discussed and viewed by internet users. So, these examples show that seizures of sources are not effective, because after shutting one source, the other sites with pirated media will pop out. To conclude, this paragraph shows that even governments operate against this issue, pirates will try to keep on their websites.

The third method of protecting from piracy is distribution of free-software. Multinational Monitor (2004) reports that free software is the way of using of software program as user wishes. User can change and modify source code in his needs, can redistribute copies (ibid). Therefore, efficiency of this type of software contains additional features, which are gratuitous, freeness to change and freeness to make copies. For instance, Keating (2003) confirms that in DiaDexus inc., California bioinformatics scientists use open source software in their researches and researchers say that free software helps to save money and have additional properties. For example, in this institution some experts explore source code and make add-ons and patches for areas which they need.
To summarize, there are three ways to prevent piracy. First, watermarking of media, using license keys, and obfuscation of software parts. Second, the closure and seizing of websites by the government. Third, the distribution of free-software. These are some proposed solutions to the rapidly growing piracy network and industry.

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