Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th grade October 1996

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Recently, The Toronto Star published an article entitled 'RCMP

seizes BBS, piracy charges pending.' The RCMP have possessed all

computer components belonging to the '90 North' bulletin board

system in Montreal, Quebec. The board is accused of allowing

people the opportunity to download (get) commercial and beta (or

commercial) software versions. I feel that the RCMP should not

charge people that are linked to computer piracy, because the

pirated software offers valuable opportunity to programmers and

users. Also, revenue lost to the large software companies is such

a small amount that the effect won't be greatly felt by them and so

it is not worth the policing effort required to track down the


When pirates distribute the illegal software, one could say

that they are helping, than hurting the software companies. By

distributing the software world wide, it creates great

advertisement for the software companies and their products.

Although the software company is losing profits from that

particular version, it could generate future sales with other

versions. Also, when the pirates distribute the software this could

be a great source of test data for the software companies. This is

an effective way to catch any unfounded bugs in the software

program. From debugging to hacking, hackers can benefit the most.

They can study and learn from the advancements with in the


So what does all this activity tell us? This tells us the

people are willing to go to great lengths to get software at a

lower cost, or possibly in exchange for other software and that

they are succeeding in their efforts. Although more than 50% of

their software income is from other companies which do not pirate,

this poses a problem for the software industries. By fining a

single bulletin board out of the...