Individualism refers to the primacy of the rights and the role of the individual. Collectivism refers to the primacy of the rights and role of the community. The one central issue of individualism versus collectivism in political environments stands at the heart as the main issue. The United States is one country with the most pronounced individualistic orientation of all political systems. Systems that feature a collectivist orientation such as Japan and China promote the principle that government may intervene in certain issues related to business practices that benefit society.
In totalitarianism, a single agent whether an individual or a group or party monopolizes political power and tries to mobilize the population towards unhesitating support for the official state ideology and opposition to activities that run counter to the goals of the state.
In today’s world, the most fiercely contested battlefront in international law is the argument pertaining to the protection of intellectual property. In other words, countries compete on the strength of the brainpower to create might, prestige and wealth. The creative ideas, innovative expertise or intangible insights that give an individual, company or country a competitive advantage is known as intellectual property. Experts contend that without intellectual property protection, there’s no incentive for innovation. Now, lays the problem that Intellectual property whether in the form of books, designs, brand names or software is tough to conceive but easy to copy. In our case study, we will find out why the global software industry is so vulnerable to widespread piracy and counterfeiting. The main reason behind this is that digital products are extremely easy to copy.
Many countries have pushed for better protection of intellectual property in the form of intellectual property rights (IPR’s) which gives the owner of the artwork a right to protect his property. An IPR constitutes a legally enforceable but limited monopoly granted by a country to an innovator. Most governments claim to abide by the various laws made to protect these IPR’s. The biggest problem in enforcing the laws globally and efficiently is that of the Jurisdiction.
Piracy is now rooted in fundamental legal, economic and cultural factors and can be sustained even after facing severe international pressures and laws. Most counterfeit products arrive from the emerging markets where basis of rule is the rule of man. One example is that of China where its propensity to make counterfeit products and its reluctance to protect intellectual property rights. The enduring legacy of the rule of man means that neither a typical Chinese citizen nor a typical bureaucrat extends sufficient respect to laws that have been codified and are weakly enforced by the local authorities.
Software makers, governments and associations acting both singly and jointly have successfully lobbied transnational institutes to help police piracy. For example in the early 2000’s the 184 member nations of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) vowed to protect worldwide by developing IPR treaties. Similarly, all World Trade Organization enacted an agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Collectively, the action taken by companies, associations, governments and other organizations produced some hope that global software piracy could be curtailed. By the late 1990’s software makers were encouraged by the fact that piracy rates appeared to be directly related to a country’s market growth. It suggested that as software markets in other regions matured, piracy rates would decline there as well.
The industry associations have reinforced their own programs and supported governmental efforts, working with authorities in many countries to develop legal procedures for promoting a law-abiding online world. Several software associations urged the United States to place certain countries specifically those without rules for protecting IPR’s, those who fail to pursue vigorous enforcement policies, those who refuse to comply with TRIPS and are on a list of high-profile offenders.
So, the simple answer to the question that whether government help in curbing software piracy would help is yes. However, the software industry may dislike greater governmental intervention in protection of software piracy as it sometimes pressurizes the software inventors to reduce the prices of their products, thereby lowering their profit margin. Another reason for this can be that in some of the emerging markets such as China, Russia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore there exists a rule of man rather than a rule for man.
The vigor of its IPR protection often reflects a country’s stage of economic development. Generally, poorer countries provide weaker legal protection of the IPR’s than the richer countries. These poorer countries give three major reasons for their lenient approach towards IPR. They typically are:
1. It restricts the dispersal of new technologies
2. It inflates the prices that poor nations pay for products that are available only from wealthy countries
3. It inhibits economic development by constraining the use of existing knowledge
Finally, because few companies in poorer countries create or register intellectual properties, neither businesspeople nor officials have reason for protecting them. As one eminent expert of the field has quoted that “the reason that the developing countries progress from using to inventing intellectual property, they’ll have a much more powerful incentive to protect it” (Daniels, 2010). One more reason that can be pointed out is that cultural attitudes influence the protection of intellectual property rights. Particularly, individualist societies are more vigilant than collectivist societies.
Several parties including software makers, industry associations and governments have an interest in pursuing solutions to the piracy problem. More recently, a fresh means to curb piracy was adopted by the software makers who relied on technical and business measures as a counteroffensive. For example, in the 80’s and 90’s many companies integrated anti-copying mechanisms into products. Although, these types of measures were fairly effective, many consumers complained of facing difficulty in using the products.
After abandoning the anti-copying technologies, companies took to other tactics such as to include distributive business models and alternative technological protections. Hence, the customers being slightly annoyed, responded well and it appeared that these new measures might control piracy.
The basis of the legal system of Saudi Arabia is on Sharia, an Islamic law that originated from the Qu'ran and the Sunnah (traditions) of the prophet Muhammad. The foundations of Sharia also comprise the Islamic scholarly agreement developed after Muhammad's death and nonliteral arguing by Muslim judges. The interpretation of the law by judges in Saudi Arabia is subjective by the medieval texts of the literalist Hanbali school of Islamic legal philosophy. Exclusively in the Muslim world, Sharia has been adopted by Saudi Arabia in an unmodified form.
A new Unfair Competition Law (UCL) has been passed to stride up the campaign counter to piracy in Saudi Arabia, by the representatives of Business Software Alliance (BSA) in the Kingdom.
This law endorses fair competition and inspires manufacturers to respect rights of intellectual property in IT systems. It also eradicates the unfair competitive advantage acquired by manufacturers that use filched IT in business operations. Based on the above mentioned facts and reports we can say that the anti-piracy and IPR protection law is enforced in Saudi Arabia.
In the Islamic world, supreme occurrences where fatwas have been petitioned concerning the status of transactions of intellectual property took a slightly immature view of intellectual property. They seem to equate it with more old-style tangible forms of possessions and therefore were declared halal. The issue whether intellectual property may even be paralleled in the manner with more conventional properties is not attempted in the Islamic world. Therefore, there exists a robust propensity towards the public domain in conventional Islamic views of intellectual property. The situation is not an unconditional one nevertheless.
Daniels. “International Business: Environments and Operations, 12/e”. India: Pearson Publishers, 2010.