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Piracy more serious than bank robbery? Not really! (Article Watch) June 17, 2007

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in Article Watch, Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Piracy.

Among other things, the author of this article (linked below) argues that unlike the people who think Piracy is the worst crime of all, “chances are you would prefer that the cops spend their efforts protecting people from rampant home burglaries than chasing down kids with pirated music on their iPods.” Read this article also for the take on the differences between real and intellectual property. Full article here: http://arstechnica.com/



1. Dirk Gently - June 17, 2007

It’s kinda understandable for people who’s entire living is made from their creations to take it’s theft as personal. If you invest a small fortune in making a movie, you expect sales to recoup that investment and at least break even after paying your living costs.

Piracy gives people access to your product without you recouping your share, too much of that may force the bank to take your house back and leave you homeless, or leave you no money to re-invest in another project.

Given that, it’s understandable they have a much more draconian view of what needs to be done, and are more honed into making their pitch to get support for those measures.

The whole media industry is dominated by HUGE corporations who only care about money, people have no sympathy for their part in stealing from them. They do care (I think) about stealing from the little guys, where a small amount of damage can be a tipping point.

The point is where the line is. The huge corporations spend a fortune trying to look “little” and hide behind millions of other little companies, so you need to be a market sleuth to work out who owns what.

I don’t think this distinction is a conscious one, but a subconscious one. It separates the soulless greed machine (corporations) from the artistic (small independents)……of which we tend to put more value on the artists.

2. NAyK - June 18, 2007

To DirkGently: well put.

And the reverse can be said to be true; where individuals who resort to piracy tend to demonise the corporations they are pirating from, saying that “they have enough money anyway.” It is a convenient logic that fails to address how some genuine (poor) programmers etc are suffering because of piracy.

For instance, the biggest loser of piracy is the opensource movement that has been doing so well with innovations with such little support, and yet the opensource movement cannot face-up to the “free” (read pirated) copies of Windows OS and Photoshop etc floating about.

“Why use Linux,” people ask, “when my Windows is ‘free’?”

If everyone had to pay for their OS a lot more would be lining up for alternatives.

3. mt - July 9, 2007

I can see why someone would support stringent opposition of the /organized crime/ pirates – the outfits that release bundles of packaged DVDs that haven’t hit the cinemas yet… but most piracy is actually in the form of p2p filesharing, no profit motive, users who would NOT go out and buy a legal copy if they couldn’t download a pirated one.
And how many programmers are there really who are poor BECAUSE of piracy? Hell, if you’re a programmer whose work gets pirated, that means you work for a proprietary format company (open source cannot by definition be pirated) – and if you work for one of the proprietary companies, chances are your employer’s screwing you harder than the pirates ever could!

4. NAyK - July 9, 2007

To mt: I guess I meant poor programmers who work at “start-ups”. Some of my friends who have start-ups are doing well, and some aren’t. To pirate their work seems wrong, doesn’t it?

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