Piracy and Plagiarism

"Software piracy is the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software. This can be done by copying, downloading, sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies onto personal or work computers. When you purchase software, you are actually purchasing a license to use it, not the actual software. The license is what tells you how many times you can install the software, therefore it’s important to read and understand it. If you make more copies of the software than the license permits, you are pirating and thus breaking the law. Whether you are casually making a few copies for friends, loaning CDs, downloading or distributing pirated software from the Internet, or buying a single software program and then installing it on multiple computers, you are committing copyright infringement—this is software piracy." (BSA)
“Pirate software has a false sense of security and false notion, where everybody thinks it’s a victimless crime, or that the companies like the RIAA or the BSA have so much of money to waste that they’re making money, that they won’t notice. But it’s not a victimless crime. It’s not only that those companies are protecting the rights, it’s also the individual developers that spent time, because it takes time to create software…” — William Veyna  Convicted Software Pirate

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary plagiarism means
  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

Safety/Legal Issues:
Piracy can lead to fines of up to $250,000 and time in jail
Websites that allow free downloads of music, tv shows, movies, etc, are known to give your computer viruses
Plagiarism can result in serious consequences including suspensions, expulsions, and being dropped from courses or university

Tips for Educators:
It is important for educators to first, have a discussion with their students about what piracy and plagiarism on the internet are.
Teach your students the consequences of pirating
Recognize the why and how students plagiarize
Teach students to accurately cite and give credit to authors to avoid accidental plagiarism
Use cites like "turn-it-in" to help recognize and stop repeat offenders

Tips for Students:
Free music on the internet doesn't always mean legal music, know where your music is coming from and be suspicious if its free
Know how to accurately cite your sources, when in doubt always cite a source
Ask your teacher if you have correctly stated the information in your own unique way, or if you have paraphrased and still need to give the author credit.

* www.bsa.org
* www.plagiarism.org


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