Respect the creative works of others.
Intellectual property is created whenever anyone, including you, puts original ideas into a tangible form that others can see or hear. And intellectual property is protected by copyright law, which makes it illegal to copy a creative work without the copyright holder’s permission.
Making copies of a work protected by copyright is called piracy, and it’s stealing.
Intellectual property—someone’s creativity, ideas and efforts—can take many forms. Here are just a few examples:
People who sell or offer pirated software are thieves. So don’t be surprised if they steal from you. That bargain you find at an auction site or read about in an email could be defective, out-dated, or just plain worthless.
People who give away “free” software are doing you no favours. What they are doing is getting you involved in Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing and lots of potential trouble. P2P software creates a network of individuals who all have direct access to one another’s computers. What happens? You all share computer viruses—so, say “so long” to your photos, tunes, and school papers! And say hello to identity theft because your confidential information isn’t confidential any more.
Taking illegal copies can also wreck your academic record. Most schools and libraries check for illegal copying on their computer systems, and ban kids who break the law. With that on your record, you may have a harder time getting into college or university, or getting a job.
Taking illegal copies is a crime. People who get caught with illegal copies may have to pay fines, and there are potential legal liabilities, too.