An individual is likely to face ethical dilemmas in his career. Such ethical issues have the potential of affecting the professional reputation, employability, and the welfare of others. The IEEE code of ethics provides the guide that can be used develop ethical decision making. This paper analyses ethical issues that arises from software distribution.
First, I will gather all the relevant information on the matter so that I’m fully conversant with everything that is going on. By gathering relevant information, I shall know every concept to the case and to avoid assumptions that might bring complications. Next, I will identify the persons who might be affected by the possible distribution of the software. After identifying the persons who might be affected, I will evaluate the ethical values that are relevant to the situation at hand. My consideration of ethical values will take consideration of the IEEE code of ethics. Finally, I will need to identify the different alternative decisions that will yield the best and ethical decision in the interest of the stakeholders.
Since our firm is a multinational corporation, our patents can be used in all our branches across the world. Therefore, our software cannot be restricted by the U.S copyright law. It is possible that the individual who has made a similar software available oversees is our employee who was distributing the software to our braches in our countries. On the other hand, it is possible that the arrested individual can be our client who has been given the software as part of the secure email exchange.
As part of our ethical principles, I will investigate the prosecuted person to assess if there is possible link between him and our company. If a link exists, I will identify all the relevant persons involved so that I see how to protect them from copyright laws. Thereafter, I will present myself to the courts and defend the arrested person. Also, I will encourage improved understanding of our software and its potential consequences in relation to the U.S copyright laws (Ulrich, 2006).
Since our software is widely used, we need to take personal obligation to anybody who might be affected by the use of our software. If the prosecuted individual was using our software, we need to accept responsibility to ensure that nobody if harmed from the use of our software. We need to take responsibility and make ethical decision when a problem has erupted due to the negligence of our employees (Kornwachs, 2004).
Kornwachs, K. (2004). Ethics and engineering - an analytical approach. Periodica Polytechnica.Social and Management Sciences, 12(1), 17-40.
Ulrich, G. (2006). Engineering ethics: An industrial perspective. Chemical Engineering, 113(12), 9-9,11
IEEE. (2016). IEEE Code of Professional Ethics. IEEE