International Piracy:Cause for Worldwide Concern Essay
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In the olden days, pirates were the types that we saw in the movies,swinging from the masts of old,worn-out ships,pillaging and stealing and creating havoc wherever they may have the desire to land,and woe to the land that they land. Most assuredly that place would be left a smoking pile of rubble and would be bereft of any thing of value,because most probably that the pirate horde would have spirited it away aboard their ship.
But today, there is a more sinister type of pirate that is lurking around, the kind that doesn’t need to land on your shores to rob you or affect your life.
These types use the Internet and rob people and businesses of the income that should be rightfully theirs. The hard work that they put into their craft and work, only to be stolen by a few who have no better reason than just to make a buck off the work of others.
How does their illegal activities affect you and me? What are the measures being drawn up and are currently in force against them?
Piracy can be defined as the unauthorized use or reproduction of copyrighted or patented material. ( Copyright is a legal term that prohibits the unauthorized duplication, adaption or distribution of a created work.). For the purpose of this research study, let us focus on some areas that piracy is most prevalent and have verifiable basis to found the thesis that international piracy is of major concern worldwide.
- MUSIC PIRACY
Music piracy is any form of unauthorized duplication of music including downloading, file sharing, and CD burning.
- The copyright in the musical composition, i.e the actual lyrics and notes on paper. This is usually owned by the by the music publisher or by the songwriter,and;
- the copyright in the sound recording, i.e the recording of the performer singing or playing a given song. This is usually owned by the recording company.
It is understood that the benefits or any thing of value that derived from the trade of the creators’ product should be given to the creator of the work, In music, it is in the forms of royalties, which the artists earn from the proceeds of the sale of their music in the market.
Pirates of music steal from the artists as well the people who have worked on the piece by downloading the music on the Internet then “burn”, or reproduce, multiple copies of the album on their CD burners, which in most countries are readily available, thus contributing significantly to the proliferation of these pirated products. There are people who believe in the notion that downloading or any other practice of duplication of music is not stealing; its just freedom of expression. But they forget to ascertain that in the exercise of that freedom is the right to steal.
But who are the real losers in the music piracy cycle. For starters, we can include the pirates themselves, because in the long run, they will be caught and prosecuted for their illegal activities.
Then, there are the people in the industry themselves, that they full benefit of the created work are being stolen so that income from the work are not fully appreciated( according to the Recording Industry Association of America, estimated losses from music piracy is about $ 4.2 billion a year).
In the end, it is the consumers themselves who end up the losers, because when they use software that can allow illegal downloads, your computer is vulnerable to pornography, security breaches, and even viruses that harm your computer.
- SOFTWARE PIRACY
Software Piracy can be defined as illegal copying distribution or use of software or the unauthorized use of software.
The effects of this type of piracy are often reflected by the manufacturers by marking up their products to cushion the impact of piracy on their businesses. 2
Piracy losses in the industry are equally massive with estimates from 1999 moving around the vicinity of $12.2 billion worldwide.
Around 109,000 jobs, $4.5 billion in wages and $1 billion in tax revenues were lost during 1999. What does software piracy constitute?
The following acts can be construed as software piracy:
- Purchasing a single user license and loading it onto multiple computers or a server(“Soft loading”)
(Soft loading: Borrowing and installing a copy of software application from a colleague).
- Making, distributing, and/or selling copies that appears to be from an authorized source(“Counterfeiting”)
- Renting software without permission from the copyright vendor.
- Distributing ad selling software that has been “unbundled”, or separated, from the products with which it was intended to have been “bundled”.
- Downloading copyrighted software from the Internet or bulletin boards without permission from the copyright holder.
It must be noted that software piracy applies mainly to full-function commercial software.
The time-limited or function restricted versions of commercial software called “shareware” are less likely to be pirated since they are freely available. Similarly, freeware, a type of software that is copyrighted but freely distributed at no charge, also offers little incentive for piracy.
(Shareware is software that is distributed free on a trial basis with the understanding that user may need or want to pay for it later. Freeware, on the other hand, is programming that is offered at no cost and is a common class of small application available for downloading and in use in most operating systems).
- MOVIE PIRACY
Movie piracy is simply when an individual downloads a movie online without permission from the producer of the film.
The cost of movie downloading online has affected the movie industry in more financial terms than other forms of media. Research shows that the the cost to the movie in the United States alone has reached estimates of $ 3 billion in annual revenue losses. Downloaders usually average about 11 films that they have downloaded through the Internet. High ticket prices, the increasing ease of downloading movies through broad band and compression technologies and wide film availability are listed as among the factors that make downloading online more attractive for consumers.
The United States Department of Justice recently undertook a massive and well-coordinated dragnet aimed at eliminating, or at least send a warning, those who profit from the illegal activity of
piracy, Operation Fastlink. The operation focused on the underground market providers bootlegged software, games, movies and music online, sometimes known as the “warez” community.
Assisted by the Business Software Alliance, the Entertainment Software Association, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry of America and directed by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, they confiscated 200 computers along with the help of 10 other nations involved in the operation.
With global trade in fake goods estimated to rake in $ 200 to $250 billion a year and losses to the job market of about 750,000, the actions of government may be small, but it is a sure sign that the pirates’ day of operations are nearing their end. 4
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