In the field of information technology, one of the most important ethical dilemmas that are faced by the system and software engineers is the ‘Copyrights’. With the rapid development in information technology and data sharing networks, the flow of information, knowledge, tools, and ideas has become much simple and trouble-free. While it has created various opportunities for people throughout the world and even in the IT industry, it has also posed a serious problem of piracy and violation of copyrights.
The copyrights are the patents and licenses that protect the authority of the designer or creator of the software and thus, ensure the financial revenue and due credit. But, the line between the original copy, acquired copy and the pirated copy is thinning day by day and the software copies are distributed without seeking permission from its authors, authority, or designers. In few markets of the world, the problem of piracy is more pertinent than anywhere else and this software is then shared with the network users on certain platforms. While this phenomenon inflicts a financial loss on the original company or software builder, the producers of pirated copy or registration are working against the ethics delineated by the IEEE code of ethics.
According to my opinion, the problem of piracy and copyrights is a result of the gaps in the laws that are actually designed to protect copyrights. The discrepancies in the laws such as the carrier vs. provider responsibility must be covered through new laws and policies. In addition to this, ethical values must be promoted among the field experts to ensure that piracy is considered unethical and unlawful. The clause of piracy must be added to the code of ethics to clearly define the limitations and responsibilities of both the copyright protector and the authorized copyholder. The distribution of pirated software must be controlled in order to protect the patents of software designers.
Lynch, Margaret. “Ethical Issues in Electronic Information Systems.” The Geographer’s Craft Project n.d. online. <http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/ethics/ethics_f.html>.