SOFTWARE PIRACY 1
David Barboza in an article titled, "Chinese convict 11 inMicrosoft piracy case" reports the outcome of a case filed in aShangai court involving eleven persons accused of engaging insoftware pirating activities. According to Barboza (2011), elevenChinese men were found guilty of pirating and selling Microsoft Incsoftware products such as Office 2007 and Windows XP which they soldover the internet. The group also exported the pirated software toother parts of the world, particularly to Europe and the UnitedStates. An antipiracy team from Microsoft Inc had been trailing thegroup since 2001. In 2005, the Federal Bureau of Investigationinitiated an investigation dubbed Code-Name Summer Solstice wherethey worked together with Chinese authorities to track down thegroup. By the time the group was arrested, it had sold about $200,000 worth of pirated Microsoft software products.
One of the effects of software piracy is that the suspects once foundguilty can be sentenced to many years in prison. For example, in thiscase, the suspects were imprisoned for a period of between 18 monthsto six and a half years (Barboza, 2011). Additionally, the companywhose software products are pirated loses massive amounts of money.For example, in the case above, the group had made more than $2billion from the illegal sale of pirated software. This amount couldhave been realized by Microsoft Inc in the form of profit if not forthe software pirating group. Software piracy also has devastatingeffects on the society. In this case, the relationship between theUnited States and China was ruined by software piracy as the formeraccused the latter of not doing enough to combat the problem.Additionally, software piracy may affect individual users. Accordingto Barboza (2011), about 80% computers in China rely on piratedsoftware. This means that if these software fail to function or evendestroy the computers, huge amount of data can be lost. Besides, theowners of these computers can suffer huge losses since Microsoft Inccannot compensate them because of not using genuine products.
In this case, the court should have forced the accused to payrestituition to the victim. It is evident that the accused had manymillions by infringing on the intellectual right of Microsoft Inc,hence the need for compensation to mitigate the loss suffered by thecompany.
Barboza, D. (2011). “Chinese Court Convicts 11 in Microsoft PiracyCase.” Accessed on November 6, 2016.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/01/business/worldbusiness/01soft.html