College Students, Piracy, and Ethics: Is there a Teachable Moment?

College Students, Piracy, and Ethics: Is there a Teachable Moment?

Jeffrey Reiss (University of Central Florida, USA) and Rosa Cintrón (University of Central Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2136-7.ch046
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Abstract

This study explores the nature of piracy prevention tools used by IT departments in the Florida State University System to determine their relative effectiveness. The study also examines the opinions of the Information Security Officer in terms of alternative piracy prevention techniques that do not involve legal action and monitoring. It was found that most institutions do not use a formal piece of software that monitors for infringing data. Furthermore, institutions agreed that students lack proper ethics and concern over the matter of copyright, but were not fully convinced that other prevention methods would be effective. The authors conclude that monitoring techniques are a short-term solution and more research must put into finding long-term solutions.
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Review Of The Literature

According to Forester and Morrison (1994), software piracy first occurred in 1964 when Texaco was offered $5 million in stolen software. Other cases occurred over the years but were solely private corporate programs such as air-traffic control programs and CAD software. Although these instances of software piracy were a different form of stealing trade secrets, mass software piracy only surfaced with the advent of the desktop computer and Microsoft. Bill Gates created the software programming language, BASIC, as part of a package with the desktop computer kit, the Altair. While the computer was poorly constructed, the software proved more useful, and some people made copies of the program to prevent others from purchasing the entire package (Forester & Morrison, 1994).

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