According to ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) there is a code of ethics that every software engineer have to follow, I have already written about those code of ethics with my team in TC1019 (here is the link of the post).
I want to share my opinion about ethics in software, acting ethically with software is not only for engineers but also for the users. What I mean is that many illegal software has been spread around the internet and it have been downloaded by people, some of them know that is bad and some of them don’t. All of us have done this before at least once (I include myself), and I know that is impossible to force the people to don’t download illegal software, even when there is security for software, there is going to be someone who will crack it; so the real solution is to act ethically. Most of us already know this, so why are we still doing it?
I think the problem lies in education, we’re not teaching to the new generation that downloading apps for free, that are not supposed to be free, is bad. For example, when I was kid, I was taught that steal is bad, but I was never taught that downloading illegal software from the internet was the same as stealing; I even thought that is was normal.
So we have the obligation to teach to the children that ethics can also be applied in computer related items. If you want to keep illegal software in your computer, at least don’t teach other how to do it.