MCAD Tech News #19315 Nov, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe
The Sad Truth about Software Theft
Using pirated technology is not only illegal, it results in billions in lost revenue and lost jobs
The high school in the small town in Colorado where I spend most of my time asked me recently to speak to a class of business students. When I inquired what might be a suitable topic, the instructor suggested business ethics. That seemed easy enough. Many themes came to mind, but I decided to cover software piracy because software is one of today’s most valuable technologies, running everything from computers to games to the Internet. Yet, because software is so essential, illegal copying and distribution continues to grow.
What I thought would be a fun experience turned out to be a real eye-opener for me. I brought three software application packages that I had purchased as props -- a popular Web site authoring package, a CAD package and Microsoft Office 2003. To my complete surprise, these were the first legitimate software packages many of these students had ever seen, especially the CAD package.
The students informed me that because downloading and trading music, other entertainment media and software is so prevalent and widespread, it’s perfectly acceptable to them. The students seem to feel a sense of entitlement to download software illegally because of the prohibitive cost of legitimate software and the students’ perception that the software developers are making so much money that it doesn’t matter.
If software piracy is a problem in the small town where I live, it must be compounded a zillion times throughout the world. It didn’t take me long to conclude that software piracy is not just a major problem in Asia and Eastern Europe -- as we often here in the news media -- but in the United States, as well. In fact, with a little research, I learned that in the United States, at least one in four software programs is unlicensed, and some estimates put it at one in two.
Many organizations and consumers consider theft of tangible property to be wrong, but many of these same parties consider software to be different, and they don't tend to regard it as they would other valuable assets. Read more>>
By Mike Hudspeth, IDSA
IronCAD has just released v9 of its versatile 3D modeling software. Positioned to compete with midrange solid modelers such as SolidWorks and Inventor, it's a hybrid modeler -- in other words, a program that can use parametric as well as explicit methodologies. IronCAD 9 can be either history-based -- using sketches and constraints to control how things are constructed in a particular order -- or nonhistory-based -- building geometry without regard to the construction order. That choice allows users to model the forms they want virtually without regard for how the software wants to do things. Modeling can be quite freeform, but controlled when appropriate. Read more>>
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Cadalyst Awards Autodesk Trip to LISP Code Contributor: Cadalyst unveiled the winner of a trip to Autodesk University 2006, the first of two grand prizes to be awarded in its Hot Tip Harry 2006 contest, sponsored by Autodesk. Charles Allred, a steel detailer from Utah and one of many contributors to Cadalyst's Hot Tip Harry column this year, was awarded airfare, lodging and a week-long pass to Autodesk University, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 27-December 1.
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