Online Piracy: Jaywalking or Theft?
(6 pages of text)
Case (Gen Exp)
In September 2009, Brian Lee purchased a computer game developed by a major company and, like other customers, he was experiencing difficulty running it. The source of the problems was a highly restrictive system of digital rights management (DRM), which, while more or less universally disliked, was causing serious technical problems for a minority of users. Lee began to share his experience on the company's message board and was engaging in a debate about online piracy with a company representative. He was curious about piracy in the file-sharing age and wondered why it would be wrong to download a pirated version of the game with the DRM circumvented. The case deals with an issue which resonates with students. Although the context is simple, the problem is complex, thus giving instructors wide latitude on how to teach the case. It is suitable for modules or courses focused on ethics, service operations, intellectual property rights and information technology.
Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
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