According to Washington lawmakers, the law's primary aims are to promote fair competition, rather than merely handing down harsh judgment against violators. As such, drafters of the legislation built in several safeguards that will help create a clear and reasonable method for legalising IT.
And although the Washington and Louisiana laws are currently the only two that focus solely on stolen IT, they are part of a larger trend within the United States to stem illegal business practices that can lead to unfair competition. Within this context, other laws have prohibited the use of certain metals or chemicals, the infringement of a patented manufacturing process or the use of conflict minerals in the manufacturing of a product.
Don't cut corners
Drawing from my role and experience as an IT architect, building a sustainable IT architecture is very much like building a house. Architects cannot afford to cut corners when building a house to be considered safe for dwelling. In the same vein, businesses need to place their investments in secure, reliable and genuine software-the bedrock of any IT architecture, so that they can ultimately make better long-term decisions that advance business goals.
If your company benefits directly or indirectly from the use of stolen software, then be forewarned that you stand at risk of facing economic sanctions and financial penalties that may diminish your long-term prospects. By legalising your IT, you will not only help preserve your own business, but will also help create a more vibrant local economy.
Aaron Tan Dani is the chairman and founder of the Asia Pacific chapter of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA), the premier association focused on the IT architecture profession through the advancement of best practices, education and certification. For more information, visit http://www.iasahome.org.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.