The looming conflict between recording, software developing industries and some of their clients who have taken to the illegal practice of copying of music files, has no doubt been as a result of the modern innovations which allow for the compression and electronic distribution of these files over the internet. These challenges have brought about concerns in respect to some of the ethical issues that arise in the respective industries and their subsequent reaction to the opportunities and threats presented by these innovations. The case studies presented, will seek to find out ethical issues in businesses, in relation to piracy.
The scenarios in the case study, seek to illuminate the vice of piracy of music and software among business persons who are overly concerned about making profit out of their businesses. This culture makes them seek other methods of getting what is required at subsidized rates, compromising the quality of these services and/or facilities. To maintain quality standards, however, is not a pact business people have made; theirs is to maximize on the profits of their respective businesses. In both cases, the code of ethics has been breached by Allison, with respect to piracy.
In the first scenario, Alison is involved in breaching copyright laws for her own commercial gain by illegally copying music files to her iPod, one of the modern innovations, that has made possible the compression and electronic distribution of files, discussed before. She has also evaded paying the charges charged by the company from which she legally acquires the music. In doing so, Alison is able to play music in both restaurants, but will only pay the company charges for one hotel. This practice may deter the development of the music industry and would make the victims shy away from embracing technology, that instead of them gaining form it, they are making great losses in their careers Robert (164).
It is clear that modern innovations have become threats to the recording industry and ironically, even software developers have become victims of their own making. For several years, blame on the escalating rates of music piracy has been entirely put on the software developers and web developers Robert (164).
In the second scenario, Alison hires a local Information Science student, Bill, to install the computer-based point of sales system, in her new restaurant, who agrees to install the hardware and copy the software from the original place for her; he commits end-user kind of piracy, which involves duplicating of the original software to different users who are not licensed. In this case, Alison has once again evaded the charges made to the installation company, which would cost her more, and seeks a cheaper way by asking a student who is able to do it, do it for her at a subsidized fee. In doing this, Alison has managed to indirectly jeopardize the quality and standards of this software and has committed copyright infringement. Bill on the other hand, has been encouraged indirectly to promote pirated materials for this brings in easy money.
According to the general regulations of software industries, when one purchases a software application, it doesn’t mean that it belongs to him or her but the fact that they have legally acquired license to use the software on a single computer, and the mere act of putting copies on other machines or passing that software along to colleagues would be breaching the ethics of software purchase. The computer-based point of sales company stands a chance to lose a lot if it does not put across measures that would curb the vice of duplicating its products to unlicensed users.
In both instances, Alison has committed music piracy and software piracy which are ethical issues in her sort of business. Her business requires of her to have licenses and receipts that prove purchase of the music and software. This is difficult for many businessmen since it is way expensive.
For instance, when purchasing any software, it is assumed that you have purchased the software for a single user, such that when you buy another computer, it is illegal for you to install the software in it because it would be piracy. The same case applies to music piracy, buying of a music CD and sharing it among friends and family members is piracy committed. It is therefore important to come up with recommendations and solutions that would enable affected companies solve the situation, and reduce its impact on the respective company.
To curb the vice, viable recommendations should be put in place and each should be analyzed before acting on them. With bias to music and software piracy, the record labels and software developers should drop their prices to enable the consumers buy from them, since it is clear that the consumers would rather buy pirated music or software at a cheaper rate, rather than spend three times as much for the same deal, that will deliver more or less the same results, with a difference only in the quality. It is also important to note that pirates can’t offer a superior product. Thus, if the prices are dropped considerably, people would not compromise on the quality anymore.
The second recommendation is that the record labels and software developers should adopt internet technologies, to come up with more sophisticated and better web sites, and to try out secure forms of electronic distribution that are non threatening to the industry for example, streaming of a short clip of songs, for purposes of advertising. This would ensure that the full song is not downloaded, and nobody would want a piece of the item.
Thirdly, controlling of radio play lists would be a noble venture and it would be made possible by the distribution marketing channels that will focus on the practice of channeling through intermediaries. The other place where piracy is done at its best is on radio. This move to control play lists will see to it that the play list are in a copy-protected format, that will make it impossible to pirate.
The other way is to make the software totally immune to intrusion Vaddadi (251). This move will not only make the software inaccessible, but even if purchased, it will not be of any help because of lack of the purchasing license that would be required for any pirated software.
Fifth, campaigns to promote legal downloading of music and software with the Apple iPod and Samsung companies having launching devices that download data legally at a revenue fee should be introduced in policies governing the copyright laws.
Sensitizing the public to report any form of piracy, whether in public places or private, is also another way to curb this vice.
One should only buy music CDs and software from an authorized purchasing source, and should be issued with receipts to prove the purchase.
It is envisaged that with proper price regulation of original facilities and sensitization of the public on the disadvantages of piracy, it will no longer be an issue.
Lastly, use of digital right protection techniques based on physical tokens provides the best security for piracy than intangible ones. This will see to this that no software could be downloaded, but must be bought.
Work Cited List
Easley Robert. “Ethical Issues in the Music Industry Response to Innovation and
Piracy. “Journal of Business Ethics.62.2 (2005): 163-168.
Chandu Vaddadi , Karandeep Singh & Ravi Baskaran. Advances in Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering. Netherlands. Springer Netherlands, 2008.