I know I’m being pretty brave by tackling the whole piracy debate. Although I am a proud pirate of information, so I actually have no hesitations admitting to it. Like any good lawyer, I’ll weigh up both sides of the argument and hopefully come to a conclusion. I suppose I kinda shot myself in the foot admitting my opinion straight off by anyway. Part of the reason I’m writing is I’ve been inspired by the movie Steal This Film.
Its very ironic, because it’s a movie about piracy that encourages you to distribute it. I highly recommend it, because it is neither for nor against the whole issue, but rather it’s saying that we need to address this problem.
So why is it such a big deal? There are two main reasons I can come up with. The first is you’re making other people lose money. It makes a lot longer to write a book, and create an album than it does to copy it. The second is you are making this item yours; you’re infringing on the rights of the author/song writer/producer. Okay it sounds logical. The more seriously you take this the more you are agreeing to the selfishness of society.
Allow me to throw in an example…
I go to the store and buy a book. It’s a really great read. I tell some of my friends to read it, for the first few minutes of the conversation they are very interested. As days go by, they forget about it. So I lend it out to my friend to try and get him interested in the same stuff I like. He reads it, loves it, and talks to me about it, but then after a few weeks he has lost this book of mine. Luckily I have some money lying around from extra work I’d done, so I go out and buy two copies of this book. One copy is for me, and the other I buy to lend out to friends.
The strategy is a good one. Despite this the process is still a very slow one. I have to wait for one friend to read the book, before the next person can have a turn with it. The copy that I lend out to people doesn’t come back after a while. I get fed up. I’m feeling determined about spreading the word of this great literary achievement, so I eventually end up going to the computer and downloading the eBook. This takes a minute at the most, and soon after that I upload it onto my blog, as well as sharing it on My Space, Face Book, and three other file hosting web sites. I manage to do all of this in a day. In fact its far less than that, it’s literally 30 minutes on total after doing various other things on the internet.
Now if I were to look at the copyright laws, I would’ve been violating them right at the beginning of the story. As soon as you lend out a book, film, music album (or other form of media) in its original form you are violating copyright. So if you want to be legal you have to be stingy and keep all your stuff to yourself. This is of course impossible. It’s a natural human need to share, and exchange information. In fact this is how we are created. The only way we learn to talk is by copying what others do. Our habits, speech, language, dress code, food are all based on what we see around us and decide that we’d like to try and make the same work for ourselves.
If you still disagree here’s another spanner I’d like to throw in the works. A friend of mine purchases a pornographic film. He watches it and feels its so good I should watch it also. He generously makes a copy of the DVD for me. Now which is more immoral…myself accepting a bit of piracy, or my friend supporting the pornography industry? IMO, I think that being a pirate is the lesser sin. To be honest I don’t really see it as a crime, I think we see it as a crime because of pressure from society.
Enough said from me, I’m tired and need sleep. Comments are welcome.