Software piracy | Open letter of Bill Gates addressing the matter | Techday, February 3rd
Bill Gates introduces the issue of “piracy” in an open letter on this TECHDAY in history, on February 3rd 1976. It was one of the first references to software theft. He didn’t use the term “piracy” when discussing people who were stealing software and instead used a more general term that implied that they were “thieves.” This letter was published through technological newsletters and magazines.
The letter addressed early hobbyists that were using the BASIC software without actually having payed for it. Gates has cited his disappointment in the unauthorized copying and distribution and the overall unfairness to the developers for their time, effort and efficiency.
Gates was keen to explain the cost of developing software only to fall victim of piracy, but also one thing was very notable. His tone was, evidently, different. He was not representing the corporation as a whole, but was talking as a hobbyist himself.
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