Computers, Information Technology, the Internet, Ethics, Society and Human Values

Philip Pecorino, Ph.D.

Queensborough Community College,  CUNY

Chapter 5 Intellectual Property


Graphics Appropriation Case Copyright (C) 1996 by Spenser Aden

Joe wants to create a home page for himself. He knows that when he looks at a page using a web browser, all the graphics files are downloaded and stored on his machine in the browser cache. He scans the cache and appropriates some graphics from other sites for his own home page. When Joe puts his page up, he gets a nasty letter from Jane, who writes: "How DARE you steal the graphics from my Web page?! I worked for 3 days to get that to work, and you just took it for your own use. What gives you the RIGHT to take my work?"

What are the moral aspects and how might moral judgments be reached on these using ethical principles?

Free Software- Charity Dilemma by John Halleck or here

Software Piracy Case

In a high school a small group of students are close friends and spend a good deal of time together. They , like many young people, enjoyed playing and sharing games played with and on computers.  Some of them with good computer skills made copies of nearly all the software games that the group had.  These games were all copyrighted software.

A few of the parents became aware of what was going on. How should they respond?  What ethical principles might they use in reaching their moral decision?

Software Licensing: Stuck in the Middle Copyright (C) 1998 Thomas Lapp

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Web Surfer's Caveat: These are class notes, intended to comment on readings and amplify class discussion. They should be read as such. They are not intended for publication or general distribution.                @copyright 2006 Philip A. Pecorino                       

Last updated 8-2006                                                              Return to Table of Contents