Aug 9, 2005

How about a little piracy before that computer class?

Half of students copy software, survey says,

Source: Globe And Mail
Written By Caroline Alphonso

Half of Canadian university and college students are pirating music, movies and computer programs, a new study shows — a finding that disturbs software makers who are alarmed by the prevalence of counterfeiters on campuses nationwide.

What’s worse, the study by the Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft found that almost two-thirds of computer science students, who are preparing for careers in programming and software development, pirate software, compared with 46 per cent of students in other fields of study.

“The fact of the matter is it’s stealing,” said Debbi Mayster, a spokeswoman for CAAST, an industry alliance of software manufacturers who released the study yesterday.

“Chances are pretty high that once they leave college and enter the business world, they’re going to continue doing these activities.”

For Robert, illegally downloading music and movies is a popular pastime in his circle of university friends. But the computer science student has upped the ante of his piracy.

With his high-speed Internet connection and computer tools, the Queen’s University student has downloaded thousands of dollars worth of commercial software from Adobe Photoshop to the latest Doom 3 video game.

“I recognize that it’s stealing. But it tends to be stuff that is really out of my reach price-wise,” he said.

The 19-year-old student didn’t want his real name used for fear that his actions would be frowned upon by university administrators.

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