School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department of Computer Science
CSci 110 -- Technology and Society
Prof. Michael B. Feldman, course instructor

Week 6: Software as Intellectual Property


Software as Intellectual Property
Baase, chapt. 6, Spinello/Tavani, chapt. 3

Notes on Software as Intellectual Property

Sample Software License 1
Sample Software License 2


Learning Activities:

WORK ON YOUR final project reports this week!


1. One solution that has been proposed to software piracy is a national software utility, like the telephone service, in which everyone would pay a usage fee every time they used software. Software would not be purchased in diskettes, but would be downloaded from networks each time a person wanted to use it. Then, they would be charged a small user's fee which would be used to support the cost of the service and provide a royalty to the creator of the software. As software became obsolete, it would be archived and replaced by the latest software available at the time. Discuss the pros and cons of such a system.

2. The policy of the Software Publishers Association (SPA) is to turn everyone into bounty hunters for software piracy. They have an 800 phone number that people can call to turn in companies or people who have pirated software. They then send in U.S. Marshal's with computer experts who check all of the hard disks of the computers for pirated software. If any pirated software is found, the person or company has to pay a fine. These fines are used to support the work of the SPA, which is to educate people about software piracy and to catch software pirates. Discuss the pros and cons of what the SPA does.

3. Re-read those sample software licenses and discuss them from the intellectual property viewpoint.

4. Look up (on the web) and discuss an interesting recent software-as-intellectual-property case.