According to its supporters open source software is more secure and reliable than proprietary code, and even tends to foster more innovation. Its technical superiority can…
According to its supporters open source software is more secure and reliable than proprietary code, and even tends to foster more innovation. Its technical superiority can be linked to the ongoing peer review process which typifies the open source model. In addition, programs such as Linux offer a potential challenge to the hegemony of Microsoft. Open source holds out the possibility of restraining platform leaders such as Microsoft from acting opportunistically. Some even argue that the open source code model is ethically superior to the proprietary model because of its transparency. Given these economic and social benefits, should government policy makers intervene, by tilting the playing field to open source programs? Would such government intervention truly be welfare‐enhancing? Before answering that question we note that some of the presumed technical and economic benefits of open source software are open to question. At the same time, the claims of moral superiority or social desirability are inflated and discount incentives necessary for software development. But even if this software were technically and morally superior, there is still no basis for government intervention. Our position is simple: the invisible hand of the market and not the visible hand of government should decide the fate of open source code. There is no identifiable market failure for the government to fix nor is there any plausible policy justification for giving open source software preferential treatment.
The RIAA v. Verizon case offers an opportunity to analyze the scope of an Internet service provider’s responsibility to help deter copyright infringement. In this case, the RIAA served Verizon with a subpoena requesting the identity of two users who were making available copyrighted recordings for downloading on peer‐to‐peer networks. The main axis of discussion is whether or not Verizon has a moral obligation to reveal the names of these individuals. Should Verizon cooperate with the RIAA or should it seek to shield the identity of these users in order to protect their anonymity and privacy? A secondary theme concerns Verizon’s prospective responsibility to curtail infringement. We will argue that Verizon and other ISPs have a limited obligation to assist copyright holders by disclosing the identity of infringers, but we contend that any prospective responsibility is constrained by law and technological capability.
The principal theme of this paper is secondary liability ‐ to what extent should we hold those who cooperate in wrongdoing and illicit behavior accountable? We probe this…
The principal theme of this paper is secondary liability ‐ to what extent should we hold those who cooperate in wrongdoing and illicit behavior accountable? We probe this question by considering a lawsuit filed by the entertainment industry against the file‐swapping services of Grokster and StreamCast. Our focus is on the legal and moral implications of this case. We argue that the courts, which have so far ruled in favor of the defendants, have misapplied the socalled Sony precedent for two reasons. The business model of these companies depends on copyright infringement with advertising (and revenue) volume directly proportionate to the level of that infringement. Also, Sony’s safe harbor should not apply if there is active inducement of infringement. The key ethical question is the extent to which technological innovators must design and write their code to deal with infringement ex ante. We argue that purveyors of peerto‐ peer technology are formal cooperators in wrongdoing if they deliberately configure their system to enable the illicit copying of copyrighted music and movie files. We also consider the conditions for unjustifiable material cooperation, and propose these conditions as a normative standard especially relevant for software vendors.
Web accessibility is the practice of making web sites accessible to people, such as the disabled, who are using more than just traditional web browsers to access the…
Web accessibility is the practice of making web sites accessible to people, such as the disabled, who are using more than just traditional web browsers to access the internet. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to overview web accessibility and to highlight the ethics of web accessibility from a managerial perspective.
To that end, this paper reviews related literature, highlights relevant public policy, discusses web accessibility from a systems development perspective, and concludes with a discussion of web accessibility with respect to different ethical theories.
The findings take the form of a tutorial that highlights how to address web accessibility projects. The findings also examine web accessibility projects as they relate to well‐known ethical theories. Additionally, the findings also incorporate ethical opinions from web designers who have completed web accessibility projects in the past.
The paper makes several contributions to the existing literatures on web accessibility and ethics. An important contribution is that the paper is the first tutorial on web accessibility that also examines the topic through the lens of ethical theories. In addition to the tutorial, the paper reports on the opinions of web designers who have worked on web accessibility projects in the past.
Social networking sites (SNS) are enjoying growing popularity and have triggered new ethical issues including risks of deception, social grooming, cyber-bullying and…
Social networking sites (SNS) are enjoying growing popularity and have triggered new ethical issues including risks of deception, social grooming, cyber-bullying and surveillance. This development along with the growing power of SNS providers calls for an investigation of the CSR engagement of SNS companies. The chapter examines to what extent three prominent providers – Google, Facebook and Twitter – fulfill their responsibilities.
The chapter draws heavily on a politicized concept of CSR, namely ‘corporate citizenship’ (Crane, Matten, & Moon, 2008a; Matten & Crane, 2005) and ‘political CSR’ (Scherer & Palazzo, 2007, 2011) and discusses the role SNS providers play in administering citizenship rights. The chapter takes a qualitative case study approach.
Facebook, Twitter and Google have not only made clear commitments to act responsibly, they actually enhance the citizenship status of their users in many ways, e.g. by offering a platform for democracy activists. Deficiencies and contradictions also become visible, e.g. SNS providers inhibit citizenship by failing to provide sufficient privacy protection.
The chapter is limited by its case study approach, but provides valuable insights to an industry with considerable influence. It contributes to CSR research by applying and testing the politicized concept of CSR in the context of SNS providers.
Although SNS have received appraisal as effective tools of CSR communication, there has been little attention to CSR policy and practice of the companies providing social networks. This is unfortunate since the activities of SNS providers directly impact on millions of users worldwide.
This paper examines the current position of copyright for the music industry in the light of innovation and diffusion of technologies which enable audio file sharing amongst web users. We note that there currently appears to be conflicting assessments between the major corporations and the many small firms in Europe with regard to the business potential for online music. In particular, we show that the convergence of technologies together with the emergence of particular practices of ‘net culture’ have posed a number of marketing opportunities and threats for industry incumbents. The role of the Napster program, as well as subsequent innovations in peer‐to‐peer software, is examined together with the responses that have been made by different sections of industry.
It has been argued that it is in the best interests of IT professionals, to adopt and enforce professional codes in the work place. But there is no code for usability…
It has been argued that it is in the best interests of IT professionals, to adopt and enforce professional codes in the work place. But there is no code for usability engineers, unless one accepts that it is a branch of software engineering. The new joint ACM/IEEE‐CS Software Engineering Code of Ethics is applied to actual usability cases. This enables usability engineers to interpret this code in their profession. This is achieved by utilizing four case studies both directly in terms of the ethical issues involved and in the light of the code. Also examined are the short‐comings of the code for the domain of usability engineering, and suggestions are made for enhancements for future revisions of the code.
This research challenges the idea of an unconditional and positive influence of knowledge on performance without regard to environmental uncertainty. We focus on applied…
This research challenges the idea of an unconditional and positive influence of knowledge on performance without regard to environmental uncertainty. We focus on applied product quality knowledge spanning the supply chain (i.e. supplier, internal, and customer quality sources are considered). A survey of 208 manufacturing firms examined the moderating influence of product churning (uncertainty) and demand unpredictability on the association between applied product quality knowledge and firm performance. We also controlled for firm size and production technology. Firms that can determine a fit between their product quality knowledge application and the types of environmental uncertainty they face will perform better in terms of market and financial performance indicators.