The Impact Of Proprietary Software On Countries Of The Global South Vs. Open Source

857 Words Sep 12th, 2016 4 Pages
In the earliest days of software, the 1960’s and 70’s, computers software was not protected under copyright laws (Story, Darch, & Halbert, 2006); free information sharing, software in this case, was embraced in the name of furthering science (Speres, 2009). Today, however, piracy (anti-piracy) is at the top of many Northern governments’ agendas (Story, Darch, & Halbert, 2006). Many of the negative effects of proprietary software on countries of the Global South compared to free and open source are directly related to larger access and developmental issues (Story, Darch, & HAlbert, 2006; Shalden, Schrank& Kurtz, 2005). Economic access, undoubtedly, is among the primary reasons Southern nations cannot enforce or afford to enforce the strict regulations of the TRIPS agreement. The elitist undertones of the laws can be seen very language used to describe those who fail to adhere to the rules of the holders of the knowledge, as it relates to software.
Calling those who use copyright material without permission “pirates” is an effective rhetorical device to case infringers as nothing more than contemporary versions of the thieves that once raided ships and made off with chest of gold and booty (Story, Darch, & Halbert, 2006). In the words of American author, Toni Morrison (1987), “… definitions belong… to the definers –not the defined”, (Beloved). To draw the correlation between those who pirate software, especially those of less developed nations, as ravenous thieves is a…

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