Commercial, Free & Open Source Software

Software Licenses and the impact of piracy

Computer software is a form of intellectual property and is therefore protected by copyright laws.
Different types of software have different restrictions on how the software can be used, including the circumstances under which it can be sold or copied for other users, whether the source code is available, and whether you are allowed to modify the software.

First, see what you know about software copyright by trying the BBC Bitesize quiz on software copyright issues (UK focused) or this teach-ict video game

Copyright infringement ('piracy') is a major issue for software companies. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has a large section on their web site dedicated to anti-piracy efforts. They also publish an annual report on the state of global software piracy which explains many of the impacts of piracy.

Compare statistics from your part of the world with the global figures. The video below summaries many of these statistics: Software theft: A $63 billion problem.

Another impact of pirated software is the potential for malware infection - a recent report by Microsoft estimated Malware and counterfeit software will cost business $114bn in 2013

Article - Article - Re-selling software licenses Oracle v UsedSoft July 2012

Article: 10 reasons why Open Source Software is Good for Business (Computer Shopper, 2010)

Free & Open Source Software group task
Using   research FOSS, using both words and images (Look at source code & distribution: is it actually "free"? Security & transparency. Advantages & disadvantages?)

Software licenses, Free and Open source software (FOSS), and Commercial Software

It is easy to focus on the 'no cost' (gratis) aspect of FOSS, ignoring the benefits of the 'free as in freedom' (libre) approach to software development.Why companies must adopt the open source way(BBC) does a good job of explaining these benefits.

People sometimes mistakenly believe FOSS is 'trial' or 'simple' software, or that it lacks features compared to commercial software. Open source question for schools  (BBC) asks whether schools can make significant budget savings by going open source.

Met Office says open source is ‘backbone of our operations’  (Computer Weekly) and 4 Reasons Why Companies Save Money with FOSS (Computer World) should help you understand that very large organizations do make extensive use of free and open source software.

NHS to embrace open source explains the benefits the UK's National Health Service hopes to derive from switching to open solutions.

Further Links

FOSS Assignment