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Software piracy under students in SOC

Posted by Mac 
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Mac
Software piracy under students in SOC
June 08, 2006 10:59AM
You might be interested in a research paper I wrote on software piracy under students in the SOC.

Download it from * removed * copyrighted to Information Security South Africa (ISSA)
Anonymous User
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 08, 2006 12:17PM
Hi, only read a bit of it - but interesting so far.

One thing you mentioned is that people who study through a distance learning institution are generally working and studying part time and thus have more money than a normal student studying full time... well, I beg to differ... many students studying full time have their parents paying for them to study and then they still have jobs in which they earn money - which they just have to use on themselves. Those of us working have to pay for everything ourselves, including our studies. Most of us have cars and houses to pay off and there are plenty out there paying for their kids to go to school (if not university). No wonder people still "softlift" at a older age (while studying).

I also think that SA companies selling software rip people off - its cheaper to buy software overseas and get it posted here than actually buying it in SA. As an example, my mom wanted some software. I could buy it on line for $14.00, I think with postage etc it comes to $19.00. at R7 a $ that works out to be less than R140. I had to pay R200 for it in a local computer shop....

Oh well, I guess people have to make money and if you support computer software piracy then you are just as bad as someone stealing car radios....
avatar Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 08, 2006 05:19PM
Software is more expensive, off course, because of piracy!

You have a spelling/typing error there...
Also I question the validity of that statement.

I agree with celene with regards to the money thing.
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Mac
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 08, 2006 08:35PM
Intuitively correct (I also had more money as a student, but would I've spend it on software??), but to say that full-time students staying with parents have "more money to spend than working students", is conjecture since there is no research to back it up (within this particular population). I have to stay within what research says - and considering how people lie to the taxman, we'll probably never know the truth..

Same with the statement about software being more expensive because of piracy. I left out (!) the reference to published research on this statement - its the last edit I did and messed it up, gee thanks - you get mental doing papers like this. Nonetheless, that's what research says.

Conjecture - if a company gets less money in (because of piracy), they have to ask more to make ends meet. But then they could move into cheaper offices and employ cheaper programmers and then.....where does the argument end?

But thanks for your inputs - its good to get free reviews smiling smiley I you have time on hands, I'd like you to comment on the comments @ osprey.unisa.ac.za/comments.html. Gut-feel statements only, since you cannot prove or disprove....!


avatar
Mac
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 08, 2006 09:04PM
Celene - agree, I always buy books from Amazon - cheaper than Kalahari, who asks you RRRR for overnight delivery - but only after 6 weeks when they receive it from.... Amazon???? Even if the post office happens to pick your parcel and charge you tax (pay with cheque then cancel my friend says) it is still cheaper.

For our PHP certificate course the local (appointed) agent charges just under R500,00 for the prescribed hanbook. Get it from amazon within a week for under R300. tell hellopeter.com


Anonymous User
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 09, 2006 09:50AM
Is your paper for a MSc? or something else? or.. heaven forbid - just for fun?
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Mac
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 09, 2006 01:17PM
Just a conference paper. It is my job as a researcher to do these things. Will need to remove this thread soon, just wanted SOC students to see what they and/or their mates are up too winking smiley
Anonymous User
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 09, 2006 02:09PM
smiling smiley

cool , so you have a proper researcher job at a university *bow*
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 09, 2006 02:13PM
Why must i buy a new operating system every three years and my latest legal version is still full of software bugs. Software companies should fix all their bugs first.
imagine the frustration if cars were made as software programs. some people still buy and use old model cars. why can't software be like this.
Anonymous User
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 09, 2006 03:41PM
takes too much time, if there were no bugs there would be no reason to make new things which can be sold at even higher prices, fixing one bug probably causes 600 bugs to be created...
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Mac
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 09, 2006 04:25PM
To some extent I agree with you LouisH - part of the reason I did this research (does not mean I'm softlifting smile. It fascinates me. There is also the thrill element when it comes to the Internet as source - finding it is part of the "fun".

I think it would be real fun to organise an open debate with say Microsoft, where these "concerns" can be trashed out. But there are may other sides to it (as Celene pointed out). I'll also get Bob Joliffe from SOC to contribute - he has some very interesting arguments on this. E.g. is it immoral to pirate? What is immoral? Who defines what is immoral? Perhaps M'Soft is immoral by leaving some code out for a next upgrade?

Funny thing is Microsoft is apparently not too bothered about individuals using illegal copies of their OS'e - the more people use it, the better for them.

At the end of the day it comes down to this for me - if you develop software for a living and someone else pirates most of it, it directly affects your income. Consider this from the viewpoint of the owner of the company who must pay your salary. A stupid argument maybe, but a lot of truth in it. And we're all in computer science? We're supposed to be "different". Or not?

Do read the comments @ osprey.unisa.ac.za/comments.html

Good reading - justification arguments galore!
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 10, 2006 09:19AM
Well, in a sense I can understand why students want to pirate, if you look at the BA computer generated multimedia qual (I know someone who does it)
They need software, a lot of it, for the most part you get the student version, but one particular package they need do not have a student version, full price R11 000, now thats not funny...who has money like that lying around?
And that for 1 year of studies?
And then ou'll maybe use it again in the future.

I think I'll stick to my BSc thank you very much!
avatar Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 11, 2006 11:39AM
I agree there.. As much as I hate piracy... If someone says I need to buy an R11,000-00 package for a year of studies, i think I know what I'd tell the guy.

I mean, for example, take the CEM101A course. Ok, they gave us Windows which was very generous of them (thank you whoever organized that one), but we still need Office. I'm in a position where even R1000-00 for office is insane, especially seeing that I'm perfectly happy with Open Office. I've used computers all my life, but I now need to buy Office for CEM101A. What do you do.. I can understand (not necessarily agree with) the person who pirates that.

-Valkeye
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Mac
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 11, 2006 04:02PM
The SOC has an academic alliance account with Microsoft. We literally receive all the M'soft software out there - some can be distributed to students (we've used nearly 25 000 licenses for XP and Access thid year alone).

But not Office - not for us, not for students. Office is arguably their flagship desktop application product. I'd be pretty jealous about it too?
Anonymous User
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 12, 2006 10:04AM
Use open source software smiling smiley
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 12, 2006 03:27PM
Wouldn't it be great, though, if the CEM101A students could do their exams in either OpenOffice or MS Office? Ok, ridiculous, but anyway... I did CEM101A last year and never needed to do any further practice on MS Office at all. The book came with an incredible, although boring, tutorial on using MS Office. It was a practical learning experience with user input as well as feedback. I only needed to practice Access as that's the only one I didn't know of. I believe Unisa supplies MS Access CDs with the course?
So the interactive CD helped me (sort of) ace the course ( >90% ).

So I see no need as to why some people should pirate Microsoft software.
avatar Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 13, 2006 01:51PM
I agree that whatever the reason is for pirating it, it's still wrong. But understand that not everyone comes from a position where they know much about computers in general, and I know that raises another argument altogether, but I can see why they pirate.

But in general I think the greatest reason for piracy is the "Because I can" mentality, not because of a need for it, or because they'll ever even use the software, but rather because they have the hard drive space so why not.

-Valkeye
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Mac
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 14, 2006 02:23PM
I agree on gut feel with you valkeye. For the most part, it's about being able to get it and the rush that goes with it, in "breaking the law" in a more acceptable manner or experimenting with innate and hidden anti-social behaviours that screams for a bit of daylight. Being a nice baddie. I will certainly test this notion with more research later on. Bring some psychological theory into it.
Anonymous User
Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 15, 2006 10:05AM
One other thing... up until recently there was never a big hoo haa about software piracy (including movies and music etc). I also recall as a kid it was a normal thing to copy pc games for or from ones friends - I am talking about back in the 80's. So I think there is a huge bunch of us who never saw copying software as such a bad thing. Now though it has become an issue and laws have changed. But there are still many people who will keep copying things illegally.

But.... recently my boyfriend and I bought 1 copy of age of empires 3 only to find out for multiplayer you need 2 copies of the game. My question is then.. why must I go and pay another R300+ for another copy when I can start the game on one pc and then put the cd in the other pc? And to save the cd from being scratched I just make another copy?
avatar Re: Software piracy under students in SOC
June 15, 2006 11:07AM
I don't think anyone has a problem with copying a disk if it's to make sure that the origional doesn't get damaged... I like doing the same with a lot of my disks. But in multiplayer, I agree that whoever wants to play must have their own copy. (Which is why Blizard rocks so much with Starcraft having multiplayer spawns!! smiling smiley )

-Valkeye
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