In the age of our modern era, many traditional terms end up with another meaning that comply with our current times, especially something to do with technology. Pirating is one such term. Instead of pillaging the seas, we’ve turn to surfing the net. Piracy has become a major issue impacting many industries, especially in entertainment. But is it as bad as people say? That is for you to decide. Here we’ll have a quick look at the positives and negatives and how this may change the industry for the better.
Pirating: the unauthorised use or reproduction of another’s work.
Pirating is quite a complex debate as it has all different sides to it, this thread will be arguing from the perspective of both, although leaning more towards the opposing side.
Popular examples of pirated software include
With the prices of these products are increasing, pirating is an easy way to get your hands on those goods without spending a cent. However it can lead to disastrous consequences, setting off a chain of reactions.
You might think that there’s no harm going into ‘getting a few softwares’ for free, but the reality is daunting for our entertainment/developer industry. Most of us pirate more often and more goods than we like to admit. It was concluded that the age group most prone to pirating is early teens to young adults. On average an individual pirates twice a week. Sometimes even more as the real figures aren’t accounted.
Pressure and loss for the entertainment industry
Although the majority will still purchase these goods legally, more and more of us are turning to illegal means due to the fact that they’re free, and especially easy to get our hands on when pirating sites are available.
Lets start off with the music industry.
Pirating music will mean downloading music without purchasing it from sources like ITunes and using websites that can convert audio. Thus resulting in the record industry losing out. However in contrast, studies have shown that piracy can encourage the demand for live music (concerts/performances).
Pirating increases demand for live music and motivates concert participation. From my own observations, I can conclude live music is in higher demand because pirating/free music is a opportunity to gather a larger audience. Through pirating, the music industry has also changed, as stated by The Conversation “It seems that recorded music now drives sales of live music and not the other way around.”
But- what comes around goes around. Due to the fact that recorded music sells have went down, concert tickets prices have increased to make up for the lost revenue. Another issue is the sales of secondary tickets, also known as “ticket scalping” where someone buys several tickets and resell them at a (much) higher price. Sometimes several times higher. If demand is high and the number of tickets are limited, some die hard fans are willing to pay any price to see their idols in flesh. All this creates a domino effect where one thing leads to another.
Denial behind the screens
We often think “someone else will buy it” “more than enough people have already brought it” to the point where we begin to . This itself is a form of denial, an attempt to justified our wrongs. How would I know? Because I tend to think the same way.
Pirating is not that much different to stealing. With the very same logic applied to cyberbullying, it seems we can do anything behind a screen. Most of us would not steal in real life even if we won’t be caught, so what makes pirating alright? Perhaps this name was given to us because we’re similar to pirates, in more ways than one. Another issue is the risk of encountering malicious viruses and software that comes with free entertainment. Some things are simply too good to be true.
I admit many games, films and apps can be overpriced but what can we do about it?
There have been some measures to prevent piracy such as tougher laws and more sites have been taken down but in reality, the net is wide and vast. Every time something gets taken down, a new source will appear, thus continuing the cycle. For example; KA (otherwise known as kissanime) has videos and domains taken down several times by officials, since it violates copyright and illegal downloads.
Supporting official sites like crunchy roll is a good way to leave the cycle, or purchasing licensed dvds, visual novels (manga) and merchandise. It may not seem significant but those sites are more reliable and by doing so, you’re helping the creators. Especially indie artists/smaller industries could really benefit and thrive! Because of pirating, they’re not earning what they deserve and it could cost them greatly.
Reproduction and Copyright
Piracy has both good and bad, but the joy of sharing and distributing can cross the lines.
I’ve seen similar incidences occur throughout the online web community where the original artist/creator had their work copied, distributed and ended up with other people claiming that the finish product was theirs. The cases are horrible, sometimes leading to the original artists being wrongly accused or discredited, as other people can easily claim someone else’s works as theirs.
It can apply to a variety of platforms, such as music (on soundcloud, youtube etc), films, photography and the list goes on.
Is pirating a positive or negative effect on the industry? or both?
What motives you to pirate? What motives you to purchase?
If you have other thoughts and opinions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.