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Computer Professional Ethics Journal #2 & #3 - Essay Example

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Nowadays, software companies like Microsoft, Macromedia, Norton Anti Virus, and the like have been neck to neck against invisible individuals who have been pirating their software. These companies also pay hard money just so governments in various countries would pass on…
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Computer Professional Ethics Journal #2 & #3
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October 2006 Journal No. 3: Impacts of Intellectual Property Laws on Computer Scientists Nowadays, software companies like Microsoft, Macromedia, Norton Anti Virus, and the like have been neck to neck against invisible individuals who have been pirating their software. These companies also pay hard money just so governments in various countries would pass on intellectual property bills, particularly in the distribution of their respective softwares. In this regard, computer scientists must be aware of the fact that despite the intricacies and complexity of their programs, these softwares are bound to be pirated, hacked, or cracked sooner or later. With such inevitability, there is a need to make precautionary measures to counter forces that are bound to "steal" their "intellectual rights". In the United States, there has been a growing problem in appellate courts particularly in patentability of computer programs where they have been struggling with the subject matter requirement for patentability. The courts have been having trouble deciding whether various types of software can be accurately characterized as falling under any of the areas of patentable subject matter such as "processes" or "machines". During the early 70s, this has been the problem in the case of Gottschalk v. Benson, where the Court framed the issue as "The question is whether the method described and claimed is a process within the meaning of the Patent Act." As the years progressed, problems in patentability became more critical and complex. From the definition of "process", issues in patentability also delved into software originality, novelty, piracy, protection, and even at face value "stealing" (by pirating or recruiting the computer scientists from another company). And because of this, computer scientists must be well aware of these facts so that they could create counter measures such as security programs, password protections, and other suitable alternative measures. Read More
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