Current Page 1Page 1 Page 2 Page 3
Information Technology (IT) plays a central role in commerce, industry, government, education, entertainment and society at large. Its economic and social benefits hardly need explanation. But like any other technology IT also has problematic implications and some negative impacts on society.
Today our’s is an Information society and we live in an information era. Here information is the means to acquire knowledge. Or we can say that Information forms the intellectual capital for a person or a body. However , there are many ethical issues involved with the usage and availability of information. some common ethical issues are:
- Intellectual property rights,
- Digital Property rights.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
A property means a possession or more specifically, something to which the owner has legal rights. Intellectual property is divided into two categories:-
• Industrial property:- This includes inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, commercial names, designations and geographic indications( location-specific brands) etc.
• Copyright:- It includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artisitic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and architectural designs. Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of original work exclusive rights to it, usually for limited period. Copyright law protects only the form of expressions of ideas, not the ideas themselves.
Plagiarism means copying someone else’s work and then passing it off as one’s own. In other words, it is copying information and not giving credit for it. For example : copying programs written by other programmers and claiming them as your own could be a act of plagiarism. It involves lying, cheating, theft and dishonesty. Plagiarism can be classified as accidental/ unintentional or deliberate/intentional. The first one includes copying someone else’s work, cutting and pasting blocks of text or any kind of media from electronic source without documenting and publishing on the web without the developers or creators permission. While the second one involves paraphrasing(changing the words or sentence construction of a copied document), quoting text excessively along with poor documentation.
DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT
It is a scheme that controls access to copyrighted material using technological means. Digital rights management (DRM) is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media. The purpose of DRM is to prevent unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they’ve purchased. DRM products were developed in response to the rapid increase in online piracy of commercially marketed material. Typically DRM is implemented by embedding code that prevents copying, specifies a time period in which the content can be accessed or limits the number of devices the media can be installed on. DRM technologies makes it easier for auditors to investigate and identify leaks. Digital rights management ensures that digital work remains unaltered. Digital rights management allows authors, musicians, movie professionals, and other creators to prevent unauthorized use of their content.
A software license is a document that provides legally binding guidelines for the use and distribution of software. Software licenses typically provide end users with the right to one or more copies of the software without violating copyrights. Software licensing is a legal right given by a company to run or access their application( or program). Licenses can be classified into two categories on the basis of the criteria of their use – Proprietary Licenses and
Free and Open Source Licenses.
• Proprietary License:- They reserve all the rights to use and distribute the softwares. The exclusive rights remains with the owner / developer/ publisher.
• Free and Open Source License:- It refers to the software that users can safely run , adapt and redistribute without legal restraint. Open source software refers to freedom to use, share and/or modify the source code and allow copyrights to other users. OSS are further classified into Permissive and Copyleft Licenses
* Permissive Licenses permit using, copying, modifying, merging, publishing, selling and distribution without the source code. Example Apache, W3C etc
* Copyleft Licenses allows modification and distribution of software with source code. Example GPL(General Public Licence), Creative Commons Licence etc.
it offers the following salient feature :-
1. Rights are never-ending:- Rights do not have to be renewed, they can used for forever.
2. Worldwide Authority of Rights:- Rights are granted to all the countries.
3. Rights for No Fee or Royalty :- Rights are not chargeable( free of cost).
4. Rights are Irrevocable:- In any case your rights cannot be terminated.
GPL(General Public Licence)
it has the following characteristics :-
1. Copying of Software:- there’s no limit to copying the code.
2. Distribution:- Under this licence software can be distributed in any form like it can be saved on the harddisk, or published on the website with a download link or can be printed on the paper.
3. Charge a Fee:- you can charge someone for the software.
CCL(Creative Commons Licence)
it has four basic parts:-
1. Accreditation:- Author must be acknowledged as the creator of the work. Then only the work can be modified, distributed, copied and used.
2. Shared with CC:- The work can be modified or distributed under CC Licence only.
3. Non-Commercial:- Work can be modified and distributed for non-commercial purpose.
4. No Derivative Work:- You can copy and distribute the licensed work but you can’t modify it in any way or create work based on origin.
OPEN SOURCE AND OPEN DATA
Open source software is a software which provides us the freedom to work, use, modify, distribute the source code. Open data is all stored data which could be made accessible in public interest without any restrictions on its usage and distribution. It should have following features :-
* Availability and Access:- Data must be available in convenient and modifiable form foe no/less cost.
* Reuse and Redistribution:- The data must be provided under terms that permit reuse and redistribution including intermixing with other datasets.
* Universal Participation:- there should be no discriminations and restriction for using a software for any purpose.
Privacy refers to the ability to control what information one reveals about oneself over the internet and to control who can access that information.
Fraud committed using internet is called online fraud. Online fraud can be in many form such as non delivered goods, non-existent companies, spoofing and phishing fraud, credit and debit card fraud, auction fraud, identity theft etc.
these laws deal with regulating, storing and using personally identifiable information of individuals, which can be collected by governments, publicor private organisations or other individuals.
cybercrime is defined as a crime in which a computer is the object of the crime(hacking, phishing, spamming) or is used as a tool to commit an offence( child pornography, hate crimes). Cyber criminals can use computer technology to perform illegal activities. Cyber crimes can be broadly classified into two
categories:-(i) Crimes that target computer networks or devices. These types of crimes include viruses and denial-of-service(DoS) attacks. (ii) Crimes that use computer networks to advance other criminal activities like phishing, identity theft, spamming etc.
• PHISHING:- Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques being used to deceive users. Users are often lured by communications purporting to be from trusted parties such as social web sites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors or IT administrators.
• Illegal Downloading :- Illegal downloading is obtaining files that you don’t have the right to use from the internet. Digital piracy involves illegally sharing copyrighted media such as games, music, movies, TV shows and software. It does not matter whether you upload the content to share with others without permission or whether you download it for free or for a bargain price. Anyone involved in this type of operation is breaking the law. For example :- If you are a member of a website that shares music files without permission from the recording labels, you are involved in piracy, even if you pay a fee to the website for downloading them. If you are able to access and download movies, TV shows or movies for free or at extremely low prices, these are usually illegal copies. To avoid downloading media illegally, obtain it from reputable dealers that have the rights to sell it to you.
• Child Pornography:- Child pornography is publishing and transmitting obscene material about children in electronic form. It is the most heinous crime which occurs and had led to various other crimes such as sex tourism, sexual abuse of the child etc.
• Identity Theft :- This entails the use of another person’s personal information, without appropriate consent, for the purpose of fraudulent practices. Often personal information may even leaked online or stolen during web surfing. Online identity theft refers to an act of stealing someone else’s personal information such as name, login details etc and then posing as that person to steal money or gain other benefits.