Information system plays a very important role in our society. There are the ethical aspects of the information system in regards to intellectual property that arises with the use of information technologies. These can be piracy and plagiarism of resources where another person's knowledge and work are used without giving due credit to the owner of the information. This happens when someone presents an idea that taken from another source as their own. This paper is going to discuss ethical issues that arise from piracy of resources, patents, and copyrights in the world through the internet. Information ethics issues are privacy, property, access and accuracy . Privacy issues arise when one's personal information is released to others while property issue refers to ownership and rights of the information. Piracy is the major issue on property issue since reproduction and sharing of someone else information is considered unethical .
My opinion on piracy of resources is that it is a very big crime and due notification should be given to owners of the inventions, copyrights or patents before using their resources. The ownership and property rights of the information, reproducing and sharing of another person intellectual property is unethical and individuals found culpable should be prosecuted .
Measures to protect against piracy
The intellectual property can be protected by patenting of information, using copyrights and digital millennium copyright Act (DMCA). This which makes it illegal to circulate copyrighted technology materials .
Signing trade secret where employees will sign nondisclosure agreement at their jobs. This ensures no sharing of company information to any private party or use. For corporates, sharing of this information with other companies may lead to a decrease in profit margins of the company.
Cybersecurity should be made better by monitoring to prevent hackers from releasing patented information and materials to others. If hackers access the military resources of another country, it can lead to war since some properties within governments are so protected that any leak to it will lead to a full-blown war.
Problems from Ethical Issues
The problems that may arise due to piracy is the difference in perspective towards piracy by different countries. This issue arises due to different cultures. Some things are classified as ethical or unethical basing on the background of an individual. For example in many European countries, the collective use of any software is not allowed and viewed as piracy while in Asian countries, there is a collective use of software thus, there is no intellectual property infringement .
The employees might just stumble upon information and release it to someone else through the internet without knowing that maybe the hacker wants to use them as a backdoor to company system. The employees might install infected files and the system can end up being vulnerable to hacking.
Another issue that arises is the infringement on software license agreement. Lack of universal laws on piracy makes it hard to fight piracy whether it is on songs or software. Different countries have different permissiveness of piracy. A country like the USA is a less tolerant to unlicensed use of software while others like the Netherlands are less tolerant to piracy but are not explicitly opposed to the use of the software .
Another issue that arises is the infringement on the employee freedom of information when employees get information through the inappropriate channels. This can be by a third party getting software or information through pirate websites and social media. The problem now is whether the individual will be deemed liable for using or reading information acquired through unethical channels .
Solutions to the problems
The solution to this is to form universal laws and rules as a baseline that effectively punish those who engage in piracy in the world.
The general cause of unethical behaviour is ignorance where individuals don’t know the laws. Others happen by accident like access to more privileges and others may be of criminal intent like stealing information and data. These can be prevented by education on the use and abuse of the information systems and also having appropriate laws in place to fight the misuse of the information system. The laws will instil fear of being caught and penalized and thus will serve to prevent the unethical use of information system .
Risks that might arise from employees sharing information with competitors need to be assessed every moment and different access level to information given to different employees. Monitoring of information flow within the company assists in the prevention of outside movement of information thus avoid giving out information unethically .
There are several ethical issues that arise as a result of intellectual property ownership like, copyrights, piracy, trademarks, and patents. Various issues arise in the formulation of a universal way of tackling these issues on the internet. These solutions might not be satisfactory but they work to mitigate the risks exposed by the unethical access to protected information. Also appropriate demarcations have to be made between ethical and unethical intellectual property acquisition.
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