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How to Write an Assignment on Software Licensing Laws and Ethics

The term “software,” for those who don’t know much about computers, simply means a collection of instructions, data, or programs that tell a computer or similar device what it’s supposed to do.

In academia, it’s not uncommon in some classes to get homework tasks that require you to write about the ethics and laws that surround software and its licensing. 

If you get one of these tasks, you may be uncertain about how to begin. Some students get assistance with such assignments online through the Studybay – assignment help service option.

This kind of assignment writing helper is always a viable choice for university students who are trying to succeed in an academic setting.

Finding help with assignment options online is always useful. However, if you’re going to succeed in the professional world, you can’t get someone to do your work for you every time.

How to Write an Assignment on Software Licensing Laws and Ethics

If you’d prefer not to pay someone to do your homework for you, you might also look into using one of the AI academic assistants that are on the market today. Many of them are relatively easy to learn how to use, and they can help you format or flesh out an outline you have created. 

Whether you use artificial intelligence to help you or not, there are certain universalities to software licensing homework tasks that make these kinds of essays a little easier. We’ll take some time to talk about those right now. 

Various Countries Have Different Laws and Practices Regarding Software

First, it’s important to note the following:

  • Different countries have diverging requirements about IP licensing, management, and registration;
  • Your teacher or professor will probably specify which country or territory you should be writing about.

In other words, an essay that you’re crafting about what an entity creating software legally can and can’t do will look a lot different if you’re writing about the United States versus China, the United Kingdom, and so forth.

To ensure you get a passing grade, you need to ensure that what you’re writing about is by the particulars of the homework task you’ve been given.  

If you’re not sure about what country or territory’s ethics and laws you should be focused on, always check with your professor first. Otherwise, what you end up turning in may be dramatically different from what the instructor expects. If that happens, you’ll get a failing grade, even if your paper is eloquent and insightful.

Some Universal Truths About Software Licensing 

Though the country, region, or territory about which you are writing matters, some qualities always apply to individuals or business entities that are developing such programs. You can always be certain of the following:

  • The free exchange of ideas is generally encouraged in the developer community. However, plagiarism is always frowned upon. That means, strictly speaking, if someone is found to have blatantly stolen ideas from another developer, they will probably be subject to prosecution, regardless of the part of the world in which they are operating. 
  • Developers and publishers of bespoke computer programs expect to be compensated for their work. Accordingly, if someone attempts to use a program for free, normally available only via a software-as-a-service model, that individual will probably be subject to criminal penalties if caught.   

If you have been told to write an essay about the laws and ethics surrounding this field, you will probably have to mention these notions.

Since they are accepted as universal truths in the developer community, ignoring them likely makes your paper seem lacking or incomplete. 

What Else Might Your Paper Include?

help-with-assignment

You might also choose to focus on how unauthorized copying of programs is illegal under most interpretations of the law. For instance, in academia, it’s not unusual for students to use programs like:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Affinity Photo

You’re supposed to pay for these programs, and those who don’t face criminal penalties, but the law doesn’t stop there.

The laws of most countries and territories mention the inherent belief governments have that those who illegally use computer programs are breaking a social contract and that this conduct is reprehensible. 

That could be fertile territory for this kind of assignment. You could probably fashion an entire thesis about this concept alone. 

There are plenty of other ideas you might mention and expand on regarding this topic, though. For instance, you might discuss how China has some of the strictest rules about the creation, licensing, and distribution of bespoke computer programs.

In China, a licensee must set up a brand licensing agreement with an entity called the China Trademark Office. This office supervises the quality of all consumer goods, and that includes any computer programs that are not open-source. 

You might mention how the US is much less strict in this regard. In America, someone who creates one of these programs does not need to record a trademark license with any national entity. You can register such a creation at the state level, though, which protects you from thievery to some degree. 

Maybe you’d prefer to discuss licensing in the UK. There, you won’t find specific laws that govern the issuing of licenses for computer technology. Still, a few pieces of legislation deal with copyrights, design rights, trademarks, patents, etc. 

How to Make Sure You Get a Good Grade on Your Software-Related Homework Task

To revisit the main points of this article, what’s probably most crucial if you’re going to succeed at this type of take-home essay is that you make sure of what aspect of this wide-ranging topic your instructor wants you to focus on.

Since this niche has so many facets, it’s easy to mistake or misunderstand what a professor wants you to do. 

Ask as many questions as you feel you need to if there is any aspect of the instructions that seems unclear.

You could even give your professor a brief rundown of what you’re going to write about to see if that would be okay before you get started doing your research. 

You should also make sure that you are only using credible sources. If you’re basing a lot of your paper on the information you got from some sketchy website, that could spell trouble for your chances of doing well on the assignment. 

In addition, consider joining a study group with other individuals from your class with whom you get along.

Even if you are each supposed to turn in your paper, that doesn’t mean you can’t motivate each other by simultaneously working in the same place. A library or coffee shop is always a sensible idea. 

Make sure you have properly credited any sources you use, and utilize an application like Grammarly to check for spelling, syntax, and punctuation errors. At that point, you should be ready to turn in a paper that’s focused, informative, and free of obvious mistakes.

Resources:

Guide to Legal and Ethical Use of Software. (n.d.). Washington University in St. Louis. https://wustl.edu/about/compliance-policies/computers-internet-policies/legal-ethical-software-use/

Licensing around the world – a quick guide. (2023, August 7). Dependable Solutions. https://www.dependablesolutions.com/licensing-around-the-world-a-quick-guide/

May, T. (2020, August 5). Student software: the best free and paid-for student software. Creative Bloq. https://www.creativebloq.com/buying-guides/student-software

Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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