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Software Copyright Laws
Software Copyright Laws Fail to Provide Adequate Protection
Software copyright laws are among the most difficult to enforce among the masses. Many companies and corporations are also well known for overlooking these laws, which were designed to protect the makes of software from not earning their worth. Perhaps one of the biggest hitches leading so many software businesses to go out of business is the fact that they have a great deal of difficulty actually enforcing the software copyright laws that are in place and getting the money that is owed them according to the agreements that have been made with those on the using end of the software.
Software developers, particularly in the corporate world design software that makes other companies run more efficiently. The software allows these companies to save millions of dollars each year. Software copyright laws protect the interests of the software developers that create these massive programs. These programs are often designed specifically for that one company and are very expensive. The agreement often consists of a certain number of users with the company purchasing more licenses or copies of the software during expansions or paying some sort of royalties for the use of the software.
The purchasing companies agree to this and then more often than not fail to honor that agreement. The agreement is what allows this company to use that software, this agreement is what allows that permission. When companies aren't living up to their end of this agreement they are not only guilty of breaching that agreement but also of breaking software copyright laws. The trouble always lies in proving that they are not honoring the contract and the extent and duration of the breach.
Some of the ways that companies will argue in defense of them not paying the royalties, additional fees, purchasing additional software, etc. is that they upgraded computers and reused the old software (they did actually purchase the rights to use the original software and by doing so feel that they have broken no software copyright laws) the problem lies in the fact that adding ten new computers and placing the software on those should mean that you remove it from or get rid of 10 old computers. This is rarely how it works. So now they've basically stolen ten copies of software that can be well worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Multiply this by 10, 20, or 100 companies trying this or worse each year and the offending companies are costing software developers millions of dollars in profits. This is when software copyright laws are not as far reaching in their scope as they really need to be.
Software copyright laws exist to protect the software companies from this type of abuse and misuse, however, the hands of the companies are almost unilaterally tied when it comes to proving that software copyright laws have been broken in court.
There are always exceptions to every rule. In this case big business software developers that abuse the software copyright laws to the point of breaking make the exceptions rather than miserly consumers that do not wish to pay for the products they are consuming. The big boys are able to do this by offering licenses for their software and claiming that these laws do not apply to their situation because they are not actually selling the software only 'renting' out permission for people or companies to 'use' that software. The true irony is that these practices began as a response to the corporate irresponsibility mentioned above. It's amazing that the very software copyright laws that were created to protect these companies can't protect their consumers from the greed of the developing companies.
People caught of copyright infringement Why Are People Caught of Copyright Infringement? When you hear of people caught of copyright infringement, many different things can happen to them. First of all, copyright infringement is both a civil and criminal crime, so people caught of copyright infringement are likely to get both sued and tried in criminal court. Because of the nature of copyright laws, if and when people are caught of copyright infringement, it’s likely that they will get repercussions from far and wide. First of all, people are always looking for people violating copyright laws. Copyright owners and/or agents surf the internet, so they may find the violations themselves. Usually, is someone finds that people are violating their copyright rights, they’ll notify the person or entities involved and ask that they take the content down, if it’s available on the Internet. They do this by either asking the person directly to take it down, or demanding of the website server to take it down (which they will, immediately, and probably suspend the account) If the person or entity hosting the violation doesn’t take it down, more serious actions will be taken, such as a lawsuit or criminal charge. People caught for copyright infringement do not automatically go to jail, although some entities like major television, music, and movie publishers and distribution channels may lead you to believe otherwise. For the example of YouTube.com, there are many people caught for copyright infringement, but they only need to take down the material. In many cases, YouTube.com will take the material down before the poster (the person who put the copyrighted information on the site to begin with) has a chance to see the warning. Other times, a work will be present on a peer to peer file sharing service, such as Kazaa or Napster, and the host of said service will blame the end user (you!). So, even if you found a file on a file sharing service, such as Kazaa, doesn’t mean the copyright is open for you to take it. Many people caught of copyright infringement have been found through these peer to peer networks, and it has been found time and again that the user that downloads the material gets charged and not the file sharing service. Be careful, if you are ever to use a peer to peer service such as Kazaa (or bit torrent, which is the code/program for another type of peer to peer file distribution tool) that you’re only downloading, and sharing, items that aren’t copyrighted works – or you could be punished severely. Sometimes, people are caught of file sharing from their IP addresses – because they download something from a secure site, their servers can track your IP address (your unique location on the internet, four sets of numbers, separated by periods, with at most three numbers in each set – i.e. 126.96.36.199 which is the IP address of Google.com). So even if you think you’ve bypassed the copyright law, you can still be found years later by tracing that IP address. There are many ways to find people caught of copyright infringement, you can search through Google.com or look through newspaper databases. One thing, however, remains the same in all these cases – the people are downloading, sharing, or in some other way using copyrighted materials. The only problem is, especially in the internet age, is that even if you’re using something anonymously, you can still be tracked – and prosecuted – for the infringement. Be careful, in all you download or use, have the rights to use the item – sometimes it’s as simple as asking permission that will keep you from getting sued or sent to jail.
Web Hosting - Redundancy and Failover Among the more useful innovations in computing, actually invented decades ago, are the twin ideas of redundancy and failover. These fancy words name very common sense concepts. When one computer (or part) fails, switch to another. Doing that seamlessly and quickly versus slowly with disruption defines one difference between good hosting and bad. Network redundancy is the most widely used example. The Internet is just that, an inter-connected set of networks. Between and within networks are paths that make possible page requests, file transfers and data movement from one spot (called a 'node') to the next. If you have two or more paths between a user's computer and the server, one becoming unavailable is not much of a problem. Closing one street is not so bad, if you can drive down another just as easily. Of course, there's the catch: 'just as easily'. When one path fails, the total load (the amount of data requested and by how many within what time frame) doesn't change. Now the same number of 'cars' are using fewer 'roads'. That can lead to traffic jams. A very different, but related, phenomenon occurs when there suddenly become more 'cars', as happens in a massively widespread virus attack, for example. Then, a large number of useless and destructive programs are running around flooding the network. Making the situation worse, at a certain point, parts of the networks may shut down to prevent further spread, producing more 'cars' on now-fewer 'roads'. A related form of redundancy and failover can be carried out with servers, which are in essence the 'end-nodes' of a network path. Servers can fail because of a hard drive failure, motherboard overheating, memory malfunction, operating system bug, web server software overload or any of a hundred other causes. Whatever the cause, when two or more servers are configured so that another can take up the slack from one that's failed, that is redundancy. That is more difficult to achieve than network redundancy, but it is still very common. Not as common as it should be, since many times a failed server is just re-booted or replaced or repaired with another piece of hardware. But, more sophisticated web hosting companies will have such redundancy in place. And that's one lesson for anyone considering which web hosting company may offer superior service over another (similarly priced) company. Look at which company can offer competent assistance when things fail, as they always do sooner or later. One company may have a habit of simply re-booting. Others may have redundant disk arrays. Hardware containing multiple disk drives to which the server has access allows for one or more drives to fail without bringing the system down. The failed drive is replaced and no one but the administrator is even aware there was a problem. Still other companies may have still more sophisticated systems in place. Failover servers that take up the load of a crashed computer, without the end-user seeing anything are possible. In fact, in better installations, they're the norm. When they're in place, the user has at most only to refresh his or her browser and, bingo, everything is fine. The more a web site owner knows about redundancy and failover, the better he or she can understand why things go wrong, and what options are available when they do. That knowledge can lead to better choices for a better web site experience.
Definition of copyright infringement Protect Yourself: Know the Definition of Copyright Infringement As you’re creating something, you may wonder what copyright infringement actually is. It’s necessary, if you’re creating a work – albeit written, musical, videos, software or some other form – that you know the definition of copyright infringement. This issue is very complicated, and not very easily spelled out in plain English, so please make sure that if you’re ever unsure to contact a copyright lawyer immediately to ensure you’re using copyrights in a legal method appropriate to the medium. As I mentioned earlier, a definition of copyright infringement is difficult, at best. Copyright infringement is defined by the jurisdiction – the United States of America has different copyright laws than the United Kingdom, or Australia, or Russia, or even China. Because of this fact, you should first, before anything else, check the laws in your jurisdiction (country, city & province) before using something that isn’t in the public domain. For our definition of copyright infringement, the public domain is a place where works are that aren’t copyright-able. Works that aren’t copyright-able include ideas, works that aren’t eligible (150 years-old documents, or older – think Beethoven and Frankenstein), data that isn’t categorized in a creative way (this could be a database, such as a phone book or other publicly-accessible data), or items that the owners have specified creative commons copyrights. As you can see, copyright law is rather complicated. Wikipedia.org gives us the definition of copyright infringement as: “Copyright infringement (or copyright violation) is the unauthorized use of material that is protected by intellectual property rights law particularly the copyright in a manner that violates one of the original copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works that build upon it. The slang term bootleg (derived from the use of the shank of a boot for the purposes of smuggling) is often used to describe illicitly copied material.” Our definition of copyright infringement includes the works of creative commons. Creative commons is an organization that allows for the copyright author to determine the uses available for people who want to use their works – for such items as for audio, images, video, text, educational materials, and software. It allows for the copyright owner to allow people to use their works for non-commercial, commercial, no derivatives, share alike, or just by giving attribution. Creative Commons is a license granted by the copyright holder, and can be used in both online (electronic internet) works and offline works. There are many places you can go to get a definition of copyright infringement. The most reliable definition of copyright infringement would be from your local copyright lawyer – they will know exactly what in your jurisdiction is legal or not, and how you can use other peoples’ works or protect your own. The real definition of copyright infringement comes from your jurisdictions statutes. In the United States of America, our jurisdiction’s copyright laws are contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, §501 - §513. You can also find a definition of copyright infringement through such organizations such as the European Union or World Trade Organizations. While s legal country or organizational definition of copyright infringement is hard for the layperson to understand, a copyright lawyer will help you to figure out what it is that your work needs to be protected against copyright infringement, or to protect yourself if you intend to use the work of another writer, director, or musician.