Infringing Software Property Rights: Ontological, Methodological, and Ethical Questions

TitleInfringing Software Property Rights: Ontological, Methodological, and Ethical Questions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAngius, N, Primiero, G
JournalPhilosophy {&} Technology
Date PublishedJun
ISSN2210-5441
Abstract

This paper contributes to the computer ethics debate on software ownership protection by examining the ontological, methodological, and ethical problems related to property right infringement that should come prior to any legal discussion. The ontological problem consists in determining precisely what it is for a computer program to be a copy of another one, a largely neglected problem in computer ethics. The methodological problem is defined as the difficulty of deciding whether a given software system is a copy of another system. And the ethical problem corresponds to establishing when a copy constitutes, or does not constitute, a property right infringement. The ontological problem is solved on the logical analysis of abstract machines, and the latter are argued to be the appropriate level of abstraction for software at which the methodological and the ethical problems can be successfully addressed.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s13347-019-00358-7
DOI10.1007/s13347-019-00358-7