Category Archives: Piracy and emergence of Copyright Laws

Linux, Piracy and emergence of Copyright Laws

Below is a reproduction of a comment from distrowatch with some additions relevant to us.

In the freedom-loving developed countries of the West, jack-booted storm troopers from The Intellectual Property Cartel may well break down your door, haul off your computers, and after forensically examining the hard drive, impose harsh fines and criminal penalties if they discover an unlicensed software application or a pirated MP3 file.

This scenario is fortunately seldom seen in the Third World, where the police, judges and government officials charged with enforcing the law are also running pirated copies of Windows on their home computers too.

(In addition Buddhist monks in temples use pirated copies breaking one of the five precepts and interestingly enough most of these computers are sponsored by the government.
What is even more relevant is even in schools and universities (who should be vocal in protecting copyrights law) use pirated copies).

This attitude of the education department encourage and perpetuate the violation of copyright law. Even entering a National School at year one all the possible act of violation are enacted by parents sometimes with inside help and young one are taught to lie and cheat and after 30 years these very same people enter the parliament one cannot expect the legislator to act impartially.
In actual fact they get in there to violate laws (in all the spheres from gem mining to illegal arrack and drugs) and monks and clergy are also become part of that machinery.

I am ashamed of this but there is no way we can change the evolving trends and corruption has engulfed us tip toe to vertex..

In fact, far from enforcing intellectual property laws in countries where there is little money, there is evidence that software piracy is actually being encouraged by Big Business as a shrewd marketing tool.
Bill Gates himself admitted as much in a speech at the University of Washington in 1998. When talking about software piracy in poor countries, Mr. Gates said:

“As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

But nowadays, most of the software I see for sale is legal, and costs considerably more than US$2 per copy. Bill Gates was right.
We have passed the copyright law but enforcement is poor.
For over decade I have tried awareness of this fact but for some reason or other nobody wants to take some interest in Linux.
Why this is I am not sure.
When the political system fails and even the vote is stolen or rigged and MPs covertly and overtly encourage rigging talking about copyright law is a moot point.
Most of the voters do not know how to protect the ballot and law enforcement is not effective in enforcing severe punishment (one sided affair) for wrongful acts and people get used to stealing and think it is a downright entitlement as long as one is not caught, investigated and punished.

This is a malady of the Third World countries and poor penetration of Linux is a result of all these wrongful act of commission and omission.
I think lack of penetration of Linux whether it is in the West or East is a big loss and what is lost in academic terms is enormous.
I will not give up promoting Linux but I believe in education and it seems to be working albeit slowly.
At least all the well established vendors in my city (places I visit) do not sell pirated copies.
This should not be the primary work of mine but Buddhist monks and other clergy and they are not interested.
I now started telling them do not publish Dhamma or Religion in pirated Windows software.
I hope what we have started in this city supposed to be holy will spread from center to the periphery.
I will not give up.
It started from my home and the friends and I boycott all computers with pirated copies.
We started from our department and we do not have any computer with pirated operating systems or software.
Even though we are a small faculty we are making slow but steady progress.
My perseverance seem to be working and hope it will last many decades after I have left the scene of action and my student spread the good values among themselves and beyond.

All my good students are using Linux now and some of them are postgraduates.