I do think it is unethical to use pirated copyrighted materials however, I am someone who benefits from them, saving money on textbooks, music, or streaming services. I don’t think I do this maliciously and I think it is better that I don’t distribute these pirated materials to others. Everytime I use something pirated, I do feel guilty for not paying for someone’s work so I try to avoid these things and use the services that get approval to use materials. I think it is unfair to those who created the material to not pay for it and violate their copyrights. As we discussed in class, most people do this and people always send our computer science book pdfs in our GroupMe chat as a way to save money. I think it is wrong to pirate copyrighted material but I do it because I think I do it on such a small scale I am not harming many people.
I think patents are necessary and beneficial to society. While the readings this week about patent trolls, specifically on EFF, opened my eyes to the harm they can have on people, small businesses specifically, I still think they are very necessary. It is necessary for people to catch violations of patents, in order to protect the inventor’s idea, however, I think it is unethical of people to dedicate themselves to being patents trolls. I think it would be appropriate for companies with patents to have a team to look for violations of their patents but I don’t think patent trolls act with good intentions or ethically. Patents are necessary to prevent any stealing and protect people and their creations. I do recognize that is can seem unfair for small businesses that have to carefully maneuver to avoid expensive litigations from infringing on patents but it is important to have strict ownership over your ideas and creations in order to make money and avoid your ideas being taken. I think there needs to be improvements on the patent system since it currently limits innovation to this licensing system and it’s hard for smaller companies to afford to know what patents they are entitled to and which they could/are infringing on. I think there should be more care taken in deciding who is given a patent so that big companies with more resources do not create some sort of monopoly over patents and there is more scrutiny over whether an idea is really unique or too close to another.
I think open source is great especially in our field. I think it raises concerns because developers are not always focused on being completely responsible with what they are using from others. I personally don’t think I was given clear information in classes about what I was allowed to take from others and what I wasn’t since so many things we do in some classes have already been done by others. After this week’s discussions I will be more proactive and careful with what I am using and giving credit to the creators.