By Harendra Alwis
Of plagiarism and piracy
Lanka web ring
A Web ring which is a way of grouping sites with similar
links on each page in the ring enables you to move from one
site to the next, allowing you to eventually traverse the
entire ring. Web rings are an excellent way of increasing
traffic to your web site!
Lanka web ring is an inter-connected network of web pages
which relate to Sri Lanka. To join the ring, you should be
willing to insert an HTML tag into the page you submit for
registration. You don't have to know HTML to join the Sri
Lanka Web Ring, so don't worry.
eligible to join the Sri Lanka Web Ring?
of all, you should have a web site or page which is in some
way related to Sri Lanka. Personal homepages of Sri Lankans,
sites of governmental/non governmental organisations, private
companies, educational institutions etc. to name but a few,
are more than welcome into the ring as long as they relate
in some way to Sri Lanka.
have any doubts whether your page is eligible to be a part
of the Sri Lanka Web Ring, please feel free to ask the ring
master by emailing him at email@example.com. The Sri Lanka
Web Ring is a free service.
Lanka Web Ring will not register any page which has pornographic
content or does not relate to Sri Lanka. While the Sri Lanka
Web Ring welcomes sites with diverse and sometimes opposing
points of view, the decision of the ring master will be final
in case of any disputes.
have to do is visit the following link and click on add my
Sent in by
Sri Lanka Web Ring
complained that the Techno Page of September 29 was practically
unreadable. So here is a summary of what was discussed.
on plagiarism received a broad response from our readers. The general
consensus was that plagiarism was unethical, but a few argued, as
did Sidhath that; "The information that is published in the
Internet is there to be used by anybody, so it is ok to copy that
of the view that copyright laws that apply to books should also
apply to digital media. There is no such thing as an international
copyright that will automatically protect one's writings throughout
the world. Protection against unauthorised use of your work in a
particular country depends on the national laws of that country.
However, most countries do offer protection to foreign works under
certain conditions, and they have been simplified by international
copyright conventions. In theory this makes it possible for someone
to reproduce your work (and profit from it) in a country that does
not ratify such treaties. Two prominent treaties covering copyright
issues worldwide are the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC) and
the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic
the debate about the 'poor' stealing from the 'rich', questions
were raised about the practical aspects of enforcing such laws.
It was widely accepted that it was 'virtually' beyond impossible
to implement such 'trivial' laws as those regarding copyrights and
intellectual property in Sri Lanka.
does not have the resources or a trained police force to combat
software piracy. Even if we did have those, if all such matters
were brought before the courts, the caseload that it brings with
it will bring our justice system to a standstill."
legislation on information technology will only profit the enforcers
of any such measure. It might be much wiser to pass on this benefit
to the end user who is going to 'pirate' software regardless of
whether there are laws or not..."
In order to
enforce such laws in a country such as ours, the government will
have to spend a large amount of its resources on equipment and hiring
IT professionals for the job. It is debatable whether the amount
of digital and Internet crimes in Sri Lanka is a threat to our society
or not, and the impact of such crimes on our economy has not yet
been estimated accurately.
Those who support
software piracy present two note-worthy arguments. One is that it
is justified that the citizens of poor countries such as ours pirate
software from the rich.
like Microsoft earn twice the amount of money than the whole of
Sri Lanka in one year. If piracy of software makes those companies
run at a loss, then it is bad. But they don't even feel it"
your article about software piracy and I do not agree with you at
The logic is
that these software companies won't be able to sell their products
in these countries at such high prices. So it is all right to let
those people have the software for free anyway, because that would
not result in lost sales. On the other hand, if someone who can
afford that piece of software decides to use a pirated copy, then
the soft ware company will lose a potential sale, and thus it could
be considered a loss.
you don't let the poor use computers and good software, then they
will become even poorer and the rich who can afford them will use
that technology to become richer. Then the 'digital divide' you
mentioned in your newspaper a few weeks ago will grow and become
a very big social problem."
There is no
clear-cut right or wrong in this issue and arguments could be drawn
both in favour of the piracy of intellectual property and against
it. But very few of us have ventured to think about how software
piracy affects our own economy and the local software market.
For now I will
take it upon myself to make a case for the local software industry.
It is true that most home PC users are not in a position to spend
$200 or close to Rs. 20,000 on software that would get outdated
very soon. So some resort to piracy. With or without the knowledge
that they are technically stealing somebody else's work, they buy
the desired software CD for Rs. 90 or less from a wayside shop,
and happily use it. If the relevant laws were applied in our country,
the manufacturer could sue them for up to the entire development
cost of that particular piece of software; which of course could
amount to billions of dollars! If such laws were enforced here,
there are two possibilities.
One is that
nobody or only an elite few would be able to afford the luxury of
a computer even though it is the age of Information Technology and
computers. The other possibility is that the local software companies
will be able to produce the necessary software for the local market
without the fear of having to compete with multi-national giants
boost the local industry and eventually bring them to a level where
they can be competitive even in the international market and generate
billions of dollars in foreign exchange for our country.
Those of you
who use branded PCs such as IBM, Dell and Compaq machines and Apple
Macintoshes would claim that the notion that "licensed software
costs a fortune" is not entirely true either.
that software giants like Microsoft are deliberately allowing their
products to be pirated, just to eliminate potential future competition
such as Linux, we are strangled between our own morals, basic needs
and wallets. The discussion is still open for your views and counter
in messy songwriter split
Robbie Williams recently signed a record breaking deal with
EMI. The £ 80 million deal is for four albums. Shortly after
the signing, Williams parted with his songwriting partner Guy Chambers.
The two have
worked together since Williams went solo. Chambers has written some
of his finest songs for Robbie which earned loads of money as both
singles and albums. The writing skills of Guy Chambers covered five
Robbie Williams albums.
signing with EMI wanted Chambers to sign a deal where he would write
exclusively for the star. Since that was rejected, Robbie walked
out leaving the songwriter very upset and shocked.
It is believed
both Robbie and Guy were very good friends. Chambers is of the opinion
that Williams was misled by his management - who apparently were
concerned about his relationship with the singer. Guy Chambers described
Robbie Williams as 'a coward' for caving into the request of the
management and described his attitude as 'disgusting'.
it is said Chambers has written 12 of the 14 tracks on Williams'
forthcoming album, Escapology.
U2's Bono has
been rated the most powerful person in the music industry. Bono
is a strong campaigner against poverty and AIDS. He has been campaigning
on other issues such as the closing down of the Sellafield nuclear
reactor in England and is an advocate of human rights. Early this
year Bono was the subject of a cover story in the Time magazine.
real name is Paul Hewson was placed at the top of powerful personalities
in the music business according to a poll published in the British
music magazine Q.
musicians who figured in the top 10 were Eminem at No. 3, the late
Kurt Cobain at No. 5, Sir Paul McCartney at No. 9 and Spice Girls
founder Simon Fuller.
An album of
unreleased Aaliyah material is due for release next month in the
US. According to a report, the untitled album will include the Timbaland
produced track Try Again and several other remixes.
in a plane crash more than a year ago while filming a video in the
Bahamas. At the time of her death, she had recorded material enough
to fill another album.
the late R 'n' B singer was honoured at the MOBO Awards in the UK
recently in the category Best Video for the song More Than A Woman.
The Long And
Winding Road/Suspicious Mind by Will Young and Gareth Gates held
on to the top spot on the UK singles chart for a second week. For
the moment Will Young has totalled 7 weeks at the No. 1 position
while Gareth Gates total at the top now stands at 9 weeks.
There was no
proper challenger to the Will Young/Gareth Gates single this week.
Despite the unfavourable comparisons to the originals, the youth
market prevails giving the Pop Idols another chance at continuing
their reign of the chart.
Valance, was the highest new entry of the week at No. 2 with
Devon Boy. The visuals to this song - that is the video seems to
more decent than the semi-nude outfit of Holly in her No. 1 hit
Irv Gotti is
producer/remixer and CEO of the rap label Murder Inc. Gotti's single
Down 4U, debuted in the chart at No. 4. On this track which a Jah
Rule piece the vocalists are Vita, Ashanti and Charlie Baltimore.
in the chart this week at No. 6 with My Vision. This club track
features the vocals of Seal. The man behind Jakatta is Dave Lee
who remixed Monsoon's Ever So Lonely. Jakatta's debut chart hit
was American Dreams which peaked at No. 3 in 2001.
For Seal, My
Vision via Jakatta is a major comeback. Seal was last in the top
20 with Kiss From A Rose/I'm Alive, which peaked at No. 4 in 1995.
Earlier he notched up entries in the chart in the top 20 with Crazy,
Future Love-EP, Killer-EP, Prayer For The Dying - between 1990 and
A light hearted
reggae track, Underneath It All by No Doubt checked into the chart
at No. 18. The recently married Gwen Steffani comes out very clear
in this song which happens to be one of the most popular songs on
radio here in Sri Lanka. No Doubt have cited the Ska British reggae
acts such as Madness and the Specials by whom they were inspired.
The current single is the third to be taken from the Rock Steady
album. The song features a guest rap spot by Lady Saw.
will sing on the lead off single from Jay-2's new album Blueprint
2 - The Gift And The Curse. The single Bonnie & Clyde will see
Beyonce sampling Tupac Shakur's Me And My Girlfriend. The single
to be released on November 12 will be produced by Kayne West.
UK Top 20
1 1 The Long And Winding Road/Suspicious Minds - Will Young
& Gareth Gates
2 - Down Boy - Holly Vallance
3 3 Complicated - Avril Lavigne
4 - Down 4 U - Irv Gotti
5 4 Just Like A Pill - Pink
6 - My Vision - Jakatta Feat: Seal
7 2 Little By Little/She Is Love - Oasis
8 5 The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling) - Atomic Kitten
9 - Bunsen Burner - John Otway
10 7 What I Go To School For - Busted
11 - Life Goes On - LeAnn Rimes
12 6 Gangsta Lovin' - Eve Feat: Alicia Keys
13 8 Cleanin' Out My Closet - Eminem
14 - Come Back Around - Feeder
15 - Try - Ian Van Dahl
16 - Days Go By - Dirty Vegas
17 10 Nessaja - Scooter
18 - Underneath It All - No Doubt
19 12 When I Lost You - Sarah Whatmore
20 11 Got To Have Your Love - Liberty X