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Apple Versus Microsoft Case

See attached case file.

Pick a moral problem or a case in business. A moral problem is one in which there is some difference of opinion on what is right and wrong. The issue is not clear cut and there is no consensus about it. Similarly, a case should be one about which there is some debate. Write a paper arguing to a conclusion about the morality of the problem or the case you have chosen. The problem may consist either of a general issue of policy or a specific issue that is found in a case you analyze.

In the paper:
(1) Start by explaining the moral problem or outlining the case.
(2) Then present the moral arguments which support your conclusion. You may use whatever approach to moral argumentation (utilitarian or deontological) that you choose. Make clear the moral criterion you are using to decide the issue. Develop your arguments clearly, step by step, giving reasons for the position you defend.
(3) Present and answer at least one argument that someone on the other side of the question might put forth.

You may use this assignment to pursue some moral issue in business we have not discussed in class. The issue might be one raised in some other class or one you find in the newspapers or periodicals . . . or it might be one that you are simply concerned about. The problem might deal with some aspect of a business practice within a profession in which you are interested; it might concern individual or corporate responsibility; it can deal with an aspect of advertising, discrimination and affirmative action, conflict of interest, trade secrets, multinationals, as examples. You may use a case in the text, as long as we have not discussed it and DeGeorge does not resolve it. You may use any sources that you wish for background information. The paper, however, is not to be a report of what other people say; you are to argue the issue to a conclusion.

If it is helpful, you might think of the paper as an article that you are writing to convince the general public about the morality of a practice or case; you might also think of it as a letter to a CEO or the President to convince of the morality or immorality of some practice or policy. A good paper will be well argued, and so convincing.


Solution Preview

(1) Start by explaining the moral problem or outlining the case.

The moral issue pertaining to the Microsoft vs. Apple case is that when Microsoft launched Windows, it had several features that were available only on Apple computers. Apple sued Microsoft on 189 infringements of software copyright and even though a large number of objections were dismissed by the judge the argument remained that the look and feel of Windows was similar to the Apple software. The moral problem was if Apple had discovered the software, was it not entitled to copyright protection? If Microsoft wanted to produce software for IBM was it not morally right that it would have to pay Apple for its intellectual property rights? Could Microsoft just make another software and gain from the ideas that belong to Apple/ On the other hand if Microsoft produced better ...

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The write up gives a learned discussion on Apple Versus Microsoft Case