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DISCUSSION

SOFTWARE PIRACY IN INDIA

9/13/2012

Q1

What is the relationship among the various governments, institutions, organizations, and companies in developing legal codes to combat software piracy?

9/13/2012

A1
Technically, the standards of software piracy are unequivocal. Thus, parties have been hopeful that collective political arrangements and legal actions by companies, associations, governments, and institutions would lead to a decline in global software piracy. However, coordinated anti-piracy initiatives such as high-profile legal proceedings against companies using illegal software, increased government cooperation in providing legal protection for intellectual property, and the criminalization of software piracy have proven to be largely ineffective. Even efforts at the transnational level to get nations to sign treaties and to require them to protect and enforce intellectual property rights according to global, not local, standards have not yielded the desired results. Unfortunately, the ease with which software can be duplicated, sold, and distributed continues to baffle the industry.
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Q2
In your opinion, should software companies, industry associations, home governments, or transnational institutions take the lead in aggressively negotiating with the governments of countries with high piracy rates? Why?

9/13/2012

A2
Because of the enormous economic, technological, and political implications of the problem, software companies, industry associations, home governments, and transnational institutions should all take lead roles in negotiating with the governments of countries with high piracy rates.

Each of those parties has related but slightly different arguments to put forth, and it is very important to make the point that all of the parties are highly vested in the issuetherefore, they should all step forward. Further, different parties will have stronger or weaker relationships with the governments of high piracy nations.
Those parties who have the most to offer those governments will be in a position to make their arguments most persuasively. Thus, efforts of all the stakeholders in the issue should be thoughtfully coordinated.
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Q3
Can the software industry expect to contain and control software piracy without eventually relying on governments to take a more active role? Why would the software industry dislike greater government regulation?

9/13/2012

A3
If the software industry could successfully develop technical and business measures to thwart counterfeiters, government intervention would be unnecessary. Thus far, the industrys best efforts have been unsuccessful. Given the value of the products involved, the global appeal of pirated software, and the relative ease with which counterfeiting occurs on a worldwide basis, the temptation for counterfeiters to continue their activities is irresistible. In spite of the need for assistance and cooperation from all stakeholders, the software industry could presumably object to greater government regulation; while innovation moves at lightning speed, regulation tends to lag well behind technological developments and market realities.
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Q4
In your opinion, what rationale do you think consumers in high theft countries use to justify software piracy? Similarly, what ideas or conditions lead consumers in lower theft countries to respect IPRs?

9/13/2012

A4
Consumers in high theft countries tend to share a collectivist mindset; they see property as being common to all and existing for the benefit of alloften they do not understand the basic concept of intellectual property rights. As with many other products, they want to acquire them at the lowest possible cost. On the other hand, consumers in lower theft countries tend to share an individualist mindset; the concept of intellectual property rights is well understood and long established within their countries and cultures.

IPRs are seen to be a necessity for economic development and growth; royalties and profits are seen as the just fruits of creativity and investment

9/13/2012

Q5
What sorts of political or legal solutions should the software industry lobby governments to apply to the piracy problem?

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A5
First, the software industry needs to convince governments the world over of the need for consistent, tough legislation to protect intellectual property rights. Governments must also be willing to pursue and prosecute violators. To be successful in these efforts, it may be necessary for software producers in North America, Europe, and Japan to convince their governments to pressure the governments in high theft countries to adopt and enforce appropriate legislation. Second, the software industry should continue to lobby transnational institutions such as the World Intellectual Property Association and the World Trade Organization to help establish standards and police piracy.

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