Software Development Ethical Issue
SoftwareDevelopment Ethical Issue
Softwaredevelopment is associated with patent and copyright issues, whichinvolve developers failing to use their original code. The lawprevents individuals from stealing and implementing an idea orproduct from other people without their permission. Patent lawsenable an inventor to disclose his or her invention publicly (Wagner,Suzanne and Lawrence 162). The patent laws prevent unauthorizedpeople from using, distributing, or selling others’ invention. Thepaper evaluates an ethical based on software development and thepossible solutions to the issue.
Ethical Issue Explanation
Theethical issue involves utilization of a code for another company todevelop a software without seeking permission. As a softwaredeveloper, I understand that violation of patent or copyright rightsis illegal (Baskin 1757). If my teammate discloses my deal, then Iwill lose the bonus, and the two companies are likely to take strictmeasures for my actions. However, to ensure that my teammate does notdisclose the case, I have to part with half of my bonus. Besides, Ihave an option of revealing the deal that my teammate isaccomplishing with a side company.
Possible Actions and their Ramifications
Theconsequences associated with each action are key aspects that I willconsider when handling the ethical dilemma. Instead of making a dealwith my teammate, I would opt to acquire permission from the formercompany to use the code. If I agree to give the teammate half of thebonus, he or she may use the same technique to benefit from my futureprojects. It might be a challenge to sign a deal with the formercompany, but I see the action to be the safest. Diverse ramificationswill be associated with the action of acquiring permission to use thecode. Although I will abide by the patent and copyright rules, thesoftware company may neglect the project if they understand that thecode is not original. As a result, I will lose the bonus and mostprobably my job (Wagner, Suzanne and Lawrence 164). Moreover, theformer company may fail to issue me the permission to use the codefor the benefit of another party. The fear of competition from asimilar company may prevent an organization from allowing the use oftheir code for development of other software. Therefore, seeking forpermission to use the code is likely to deny me the bonus and subjectme to lawful actions.
Alternatively,I can choose to give my teammate half of the bonus and implement anon-disclosure deal. The agreement will ensure that none of thecompanies will be aware that the code used to develop the software isnot my original work. Exposing my teammate for performing a side jobwith another company is not a realistic action to secure my dealbecause more harm will be directed to me. If the teammate loses thejob, he or she may end up being employed in the side company.Disclosure of the software development issue would subject me tovarious consequences such as losing my job or bonus, and facing thelaw. It would be, therefore, safer to go for the non-disclosureagreement (Baskin 1757). I will not fully benefit from the bonus if Ichoose the agreement. Furthermore, my actions of violating the patentand copyright rules may be known in future and involve me into aserious incident.
In conclusion, software development is controlled by patent andcopyright rules to ensure that unauthorized individuals do not use ordistribute other people`s property. The ethical dilemma involvesutilization of code to develop a product without the permission ofthe owner. The consequences connected to any action used to addressthe ethical dilemma should be considered before making any decisions.
Baskin, Josh. "Competitive Regulation of Mobile SoftwareSystems: Promoting Innovation through Reform of Antitrust and PatentLaws." Hastings LJ 64 (2012): 1727.
Wagner, Suzanne C., and G. Lawrence Sanders. "Considerationsin ethical decision-making and software piracy." Journal ofBusiness Ethics 29.1 (2001): 161-167.
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