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Q: how would violation of software license agreements affect different areas of life/economy, business, personal, legal?
A: I'd say that the industry is well aware that software is easily copied and distributed thanks to the internet, [ and the business has adapted accordingly. Not too many places make their money selling 'shrink-wrapped' software to consumers - there was never much money in it, even before software piracy. Software as a service (be it free and ad supported, like Google or Facebook or paid sites
like Salesforce) and customized enterprise solutions (think IBM) are where most of the industry is focused. By definition, it's pirate proof to begin with. Microsoft and Adobe are the only companies I can think of who make their money in relatively cheap end user software, but all their money comes from business buying from the in bulk. The end-user sales are but a drop in the bucket - so it doesn't really matter. Piracy did hurt the PC gaming industry in the late 90's big time, but most of the game developers have since shifted their efforts to the console gaming platforms for many reasons. If you're referring to some of the other legalese in those software agreements, they're largely nothing but disclaimers. They're largely untested in courts to the best of my knowledge. The pages of crap that you have to click 'OK' to is just the stuff the lawyers ask us to include. License violation becomes more problematic in countries that don't enforce intellectual property laws (*cough* CHINA *cough*). The industry doesn't really care with small scale pirate uses at home as long as the business buyers play by the rules. In China, they don't - official government computers run pirated stuff, and engineers are actively reverse engineering them in order to resell them at a profit. THAT's problematic to the industry. It makes a lot of places hesitant to do buisness with China or to outsource to it. ]
Expert answered|pathwise|Points 615|
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Asked 2/9/2012 9:46:54 PM
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