We have all heard of programs that allow you to share information, software, and music with other Internet users. This is often referred to as file sharing. Sometimes, file sharing is perfectly acceptable, such as when people are sharing free information or open source and free software programs. However, the ease of sharing these files also makes it very easy to share software that is copyrighted. This is considered software piracy and it is very much against the law.
If you have ever taken part in software piracy, then you have put yourself at risk of facing legal consequences. Different countries have varying laws and punishments pertaining to piracy of software and other intellectual property. However, if you live in the United States of America you may face criminal charges and fines of up to $ 250,000. Other countries like Sweden and Germany also have stringent piracy laws.
If you participate in peer to peer file sharing programs, then there is a chance that you may be caught by authorities. U.S. Federal agents regularly make sweeps of peer to peer file sharing networks in attempts to capture IP addresses of people who are participating in software piracy. Any time that you connect to another computer to take a pirated piece of software, you may actually be connecting to a Federal computer which will log your IP address and then be used to find your location.
Although it is tempting to get something for free, there is no way that participating in any kind of software piracy is worth it in the long run. There are incredibly steep fines and there is a chance that you will face jail time if you are caught. If you are unable to afford a piece of software, a good alternative would be to search the Internet for an open source program that is similar. Open source programs are completely free to use because they have been developed by the general Internet community and do not belong to any one person or group.
Image by brianjmatis
Much of the internet took part in a major protest today against the proposed SOPA and PIPA legistlation – laws that under the guise of fighting piracy would give the government the power to significantly damage the fundemantal openness of the internet. Google blacked out their logo. Wikipedia went dark. Wired censored their headlines.
Figured I should do my part.
Year 4, Day 18
[Total Consecutive Days: 1113]
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