Piracy Cannot, And Should Not, Be Stopped

On April 12, 2010, Parliament (UK) passed a bill to “help protect copyright online and increase regulation and control of the way people use the Internet.” It’s set to go into effect on June 12, 2010. How does this affect us in the United States? Simple, if a developed, modern country passes and implements a law controlling the internet, other countries will follow with their own legislation. “Repeat offenders” will have their internet cut off by their ISP‘s, for an indefinite period of time. This is just another sad attempt by the entertainment industry to stop piracy.

Does the MPAA and RIAA not see that these laws and measures are completely ineffective? Let’s take a quick look at The Pirate Bay, one of the web’s foremost torrent sites. On May 31, 2006, authorities raided their servers and caused TPB to go online for a whopping three days. Still unhappy, the MPAA and RIAA sued the founders of TPB and found them guilty. After the founders appealed their verdict, the record companies sued TPB’s ISP, and forced them to disconnect TPB. However as of today, TPB is still up-and-running, and all of the torrent trackers are working.

What does all that prove? It proves that *piracy cannot be stopped*, no matter how hard the companies try. Even if the record companies can get TPB shut down for good, what’s to say another torrent site won’t replace it?

Instead of trying to kill off piracy (which is no less of a challenge than turning Haiti into the next NYC), the record companies should instead try to appeal to consumers by lowering their prices or making their products more conveniently accessible online. Look at iTunes, how did it become so successful even though it requires consumers to pay? It made the whole process way more convenient than illegally downloading. And it charges reasonable prices, unlike record companies. Broke teenagers don’t exactly have the money to buy ten-dollar CD’s or $700 programs (yes I’m looking at you, Adobe). If Adobe Photoshop was a more reasonable price, like $50, then I’d consider buying it, but at $700-$1000 for it I didn’t even entertain the thought of purchasing it before I navigated to thepiratebay.org in my browser.

And technically speaking, we’re not even “stealing.” Stealing implies taking property away from the rightful owner of it. File-sharing is sharing, the owner still keeps the original CD or file. *Have we not been raised with the idea that sharing is a good thing?*

Posted in General, Politics, Rant, Web
  • http://willans.net Simon Willans

    I was with you until the end on this one. Programs like Photoshop are expensive for a reason – they’re powerful programs. But, there could be a point within that – If one person buys it for $700 and another 19 don’t because of the pricetag alone (like yourself) then they will make $700. If they sell it for $50 and 20 people buy it, then they make $1000.

  • http://net-cake.com Paul D’Amora

    Apple certainly knew what they were doing with iTunes. I would definitely prefer to shop on iTunes for music as opposed to TPB. It’s a much better user experience, and I know I’m getting what I want from a legitimate source.

    Adobe is aware that they can’t stop piracy. Big companies like that make most of their money by selling to other big companies. For example, Apple has Adobe CS running on most of their machines in their stores, as well as their offices. Adobe gets huge chunks of money from other companies, schools, and rich people, so they can certainly afford the money they lose to piraters. It’s not like it costs them anything to reproduce their product.

    From the point of view of the company selling these products, piraters certainly are thieves. This company is trying to make money, but tons of people are getting it for free anyway. Lowering their prices wouldn’t help much, since pirating will always be the cheapest option. Whether or not the people downloading music, software, or other media are at fault is debatable. They’re just downloading something. Sure they didn’t pay for it, but if it’s up online for free, why would they? The people who reproduce this content are breaking the law. So if I went and removed the DRM from 200 songs, and put them on TBP, I would be a criminal. But if you went and downloaded those songs, you’d just be someone downloading music.

    Just my opinion.