Friday, August 29, 2008

The End of Software Piracy in Malaysia?

If you're using pirated software, watch out!

Here's an excerpt from The Star (August 28, 2008):

Starting Wednesday, users with pirated copies of Microsoft Corp's Windows XP Professional operating system (OS) on machines that are Internet-capable could find their computer displays going black and with no screen icons visible.

There are 8.6 million users of Win XP Pro in Malaysia and about three million are expected to suffer the “blackouts,” according to Microsoft Malaysia.

Ethical and Practical Issues of Using Pirated Software

I never subscribed to using pirated software.  Using pirated software is like using stolen stuff.  Let's ponder about it: Would you own a stolen car?  Would you use a stolen phone?  Why the double standards when it comes to software? Obviously, there are hypocrites amongst some of us, isn't it?

By using pirated software, the hardworking people who made the software is being deprived of their livelihood.

On the issue of practicality, pirated software may bring unknown risks to your PC and even you; some unscrupulous programmer might have embedded a keylogger into the pirated executable and the next thing you know is that your credit card information is in someone's hands.

The "Software is Too Expensive!" Excuse

I suppose that software being expensive is the biggest excuse for using pirated software. Then let's ponder on this point: If one can't afford a BMW, does that give the person the right to steal one?

Thankfully, there are some very good shareware and free software out there. Some of them are almost as good as their commercial equivalents. So, if you can't afford those commercial software products, give shareware and free software a try! 

It's encouraging to see that Microsoft Malaysia has made some of its software more affordable to home users and students.  For instance, students in some institutions of higher learning can now enjoy big discounts on certain Microsoft SKUs.  Recently, Microsoft Malaysia has lowered the price of the retail version of Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition (which comes with 3 licenses for non-commercial use).

Towards Responsible Consumerism

Will we see the end of software piracy in Malaysia soon?  If consumers create a demand for pirated software, then the piracy problem won't disappear overnight for sure. Let's hope that there'll be more antipiracy awareness campaign in the future.

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