Computer Ethics, Summer 2020 online, Class 2

5/21 miniwriting assignment:

Consider these two issues:

In talking from an ethical perspective about each of these, would you favor a utilitarian approach or a deontological approach?

If you're able to add a sentence or two of supporting argument, great, but if all you can report at this point is a general feeling, go for it.

Write a few sentences on the Sakai forum, or, if you really prefer, send them to me by email. I'd like them by the next class.

5/29 Paper 1

Class 2 Readings

Watch the first two videos, on filesharing and on ethical theory (in the Sakai Panopto tab)

Read all of Baase chapter 1 and sections 1-3 of chapter 4.

Weaknesses of ethical theories

How would you talk about the ethics of filesharing in light of deontological theories?

    deontological argument against plagiarism

One issue with Utilitarianism is that it's hard to calculate the "net social utility". How does this apply to the justification of copyright?

Samuelson v Negroponte

Areas of debate about copyright:

  1. Music
  2. Movies
  3. Books
  4. Journalism

What about #5: standalone computer games? Or, for that matter, standalone software? What happened to Altsys Fontastic for the mac?

But standalone computer games for general computer platforms have vanished. Resident Evil, Doom Eternal, Super Mario, Call of Duty.

What about Minecraft? It's something like $27 in 2020.

Markus "Notch" Persson, the original Minecraft developer, famously said (in 2011) "Just pirate it. If you still like it when you can afford it in the future, buy it then." Piracy estimates at that time were around 70%.

If you don't buy, you can't play multiplayer. (I don't know how, anyway.)

In general, games for Windows/Mac platforms involve:

  1. server subscriptions
  2. in-game sales
  3. advertising (much less revenue for the devs)

There is also advertising far and wide that "free game downloads usually contain malware". Whether or not it's ever true. Finally, Minecraft 10 is available only for Windows 10, and ultimately Microsoft may simply be using Minecraft 10 to drive Windows 10 sales and upgrades.

For-profit server-based filesharing

Copyright limitations:

First look at RIAA lawsuits

     What issues come to mind?

First look at Fair Use (which most authors do not capitalize)