Presidential Scholars Theses (1990 – 2006)


Open Access Presidential Scholars Thesis


Software piracy;


Computer software became registered as a form of literary expression by the United States Copyright Office in 1964. By 1980, the Copyright Act was amended to explicitly include software applications. Today, it is illegal to create copies of original program disks without express permission from the manufacturer (Microsoft 1994). The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) states that $2.4 billion worth of copyrighted software was pirated in 1990. This figure represents almost one-half of the total revenue of the software industry for that year. An additional $10 to $12 billion was lost to pirates overseas. However, such statistics maintained by the SPA and other anti-piracy organizations, including the Business Software Alliance (BSA), have long been disputed by opponents as unwarranted exaggerations.

Product pirating is a major issue in terms of loss of sales across many industries, including computer software, pharmaceuticals, movies, audio, and books (Givon, Mahajan, and Muller 1995). However, the problem has been said to be most sensitive for the software industry (Givon, et al. 1995; Sims, Cheng, and Teegen 1996). Software piracy is extremely widespread and is global in nature (Barton and Malhotra 1993). Recent estimates of lost sales have exceeded $11 billion in 1996 ( 1997). Yet for all this loss of sales through piracy, some researchers insist that the market for software is expanded by software piracy (Givon et al. 1995). Consequently, piracy may serve as an instrument of diffusion by creating interest in the product and a demand for it. Software piracy, therefore, is a complex issue that may be looked upon from a number of perspectives. This study examines some of these perspectives using first-hand data collected from over 1,000 Internet users around the world.

Date of Award



Department of Computer Science

Presidential Scholar Designation

A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation Presidential Scholar


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this Presidential Scholars thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit an email request to Include your name and clearly identify the thesis by full title and author as shown on the work.

Date Original

Spring 2000

Object Description

1 PDF file (76 pages)

Date Digital



©2000 Bharath Pola





File Format