8.2 Ethics

Nov 10, 2019

Chapter Overview

Ethics is a philosophy concerning what’s right and what’s wrong.
Computer ethics contains of the followings:

  • Netiquette
  • Plagiarism and intellectual property rights
  • Legal implications


(Well of course you know what it is! If you don’t, go downstairs and find Mr. Mobsbee; he would teach you a personal lesson.) 

  • Contributes to social well-being
  • Avoids harm to others (i.e. SaCyber Bullying)
  • Is fair and prevents discrimination
  • Honers property rights

Intellectual property rights

Different softwares have different policies. Here are some main categories:

Free softwareOpen source softwareFreewareTrialware
Free of charge?Only the evaluation period
Source code available?

An example of open-source software is @Raymond-Wu ‘s past paper crawler.


  • Free softwareNot to mistaken with “Freeware”.Users are free to do whatever they want — run, copy, change or modify.


  • Open source softwareSource code is open to the users — but under a copyright.
  • FreewareCan be downloaded free of charge.
  • Shareware / Trial wareSoftware that could be used without license for a period of time.
    License would be needed after the evaluation period.


For users:

  • Hacking — Gaining unauthorized access to a computer’s software or data
    (Which includes cracking softwaresplanting viruses and spying)
  • Offense to software policy
    • Using trial ware beyond evaluation period
    • Violating the terms and conditions of the software, for example
      • Using site-license programs for personal use
      • Selling commercial software to others

For developers:

Developers must ensure that:

  • Data Gathering
    • Gather data fairly and lawfully
    • Only used as stated purpose
    • Make sure is secure
    • Individuals have the right to view data stored about him.

An offense to the software could bring you a lawsuit — unless it’s under national security, crime or taxation..

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