15 December 2013

Stopping piracy on the internet? Good luck.

The reasons why people share and download copied/pirated things like movies, music, books & magazines, etc. is hugely varied. The fact is, they do download and I, for one, seriously doubt that it will ever be able to be stopped. Part of me doesn't really care, either. Besides, what's the difference between sharing a music album or an ebook online to lending a CD or paperback to your friends? I say there is no moral difference - only an imagined difference, a guilt-trip created by the fat cat money-makers in the media and entertainment industries.

Okay, yes there are duplicates being produced for no gain to the original publishers, but were those downloaders/borrowers ever going to purchase the item anyway? I say probably not, so therefore "piracy" could be a good thing - seeing music and books and movies get into the hands of a wider audience who might someday decide to actually purchase something. Also, it's a fairly undisputed fact that there are untold millions of folk out there who can't afford the often overpriced items in question and the chance to grab them for free does massive things for the spread of culture and knowledge across the globe. The fine people at TUEBL are a great example of this ideal - bringing ebooks to the masses.

Taking the "anti-piracy" agenda to the next level would have to be the banning of all kinds of lending libraries, because even though the official ones pay royalty fees, there's no effective controls over who gets hold of the media and what happens to it whilst in their possession. Case in point: the literary world, for one, hasn't collapsed and book libraries have been around for a long time. Go figure. It's total bollocks, the whole thing. A few missed bucks (in the grand scheme of things) for an already fat industry? Cry me a river.

Anyway, the following is an excerpt from an interesting report from the New Zealand Herald about the ongoing Pirate Bay domain seizures that suggest some reasons why people might decide to download something "illegally".

This begs the question to be asked - if regulators cannot hope to stop piracy, why adopt such a blunt approach in what is a seemingly unwinnable battle? Wouldn't it make more sense to fix the larger issues that are driving people to piracy?
Excluding greed and an urge for freebies, fixing piracy isn't an impossible task. Adopting some simple measures such as reducing the crazy timing gap between cinema and Blu-Ray releases, decreasing some of the frankly absurd pricing on CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray titles and most importantly of all, not treating paying customers as criminals via bizarre and restrictive DRM/zoning measures, will go a long way to reducing demand for pirate services.

The complete article can be found HERE.

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