Pirating in the 21st century: An outlook on the positives and negatives

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.

Vinland saga: Pirating, raiding and pillaging

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

– Games
– Movies/films
– Music
– Apps
– Programs

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.

A stack of albums on display

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.

Live concert performance

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?

Preventing Pirating

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.

Related articles:


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.

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10 Replies to “Pirating in the 21st century: An outlook on the positives and negatives”

  1. A very good thread. I use to pirate a whole lot when i was younger. I didnt have any money to spend , I really had no choice. But as I grew older my desire for things have lessened and it feels better this way, I never really liked pirating and I havent pirated in a while which is good i guess.

  2. Firstly I would like to say that this is an interesting article. There are a lot of cases still ongoing as Pirating is expanding. If I believe then there are 2 ways why such things are happening.
    1. If free things are available then using them instead of buying the product.
    2. No source of buying. (i.e., no credit card, paypal, or online sources)
    In both these cases we find ourselves using material that are illegal. Even though we can turn to the bright side and support the actual creators we tend to go with whatever we come across to. That’s one sad and truth thing.

    I didn’t have much knowledge about songs but I am thankful that I have read this thread and understood that even simple things can be pirated and Songs are much of a major part in our life that we tend to listen everyday. I have no knowledge of songs as I am mostly into Anime and Manga.

    What Miss Gallu said about KissAnime was generally true. It is surely an illegal source of watching videos and downloading along with it. As a matter of fact, DMCA and Remove Your Media have been constantly removing tons of videos every week. On an average if I have to estimate, then it will be around 25,000 videos removed per day. No wonder they put that captcha so that the bots won’t be able to remove it easily.

    If we look about the bright side of Anime Industry then Crunchyroll is an excellent site. Even though we take a subscription and watch anime, the money doesn’t go to the actual creators but to the studio. One of the reasons why people tend to skip such sites. Or they do not have any source of buying that I mentioned above.

    Well, by saying all that I’d like to end my comment here. Thank you for an amazing article, Miss Gallu. Gallu? LMFAO

  3. I had the biggest comment… But I closed firefox before I pressed enter.
    I wanna die.
    But pirating is a safe haven from being exposed to unavoidable stuff like Animestrikes double paywall, If you like a series buy their blueray in that regard.
    Subscribing to any of anime streaming serviced gets you nothing, You can buy the blueray of the series you really like.
    Books give you a good service for subscription is audiobooks.
    Music subscriptions like spotify allow you downloads of smaller artist that you may like along with more popular just as easily accessed along with free downloads.
    Western tv has Netflix which constantly provides new products and much ease of access.

    When the free product is of better value then the payed one it’s bull and not worth it, Theres often ways to support stuff more directly to, Not to mention Manga’s horrid online service, Like damn.

    In conclusion pirating is a godsend as it helps us against stuff like supporting horrible buissness practices or lack of product like manga’s case, Netflix is a example of why you shouldn’t pirate in some cases whlist manga is the prime one for why you should, Netflix and the other medias I mentioned are worth paying for in some regard, What does crunchy role or Netflix’s anime side have on that?

    I could go on and on and I did in the comment I deleted but This is the base counter argument.

    Edit:I would like to add Crunchy roll basically just feasts off morals, It’s buffering feature which is a default is hidden behind crunchyroll prime.

    Pirating isn’t bad, It’s a savior in disguise, Without it we would be worse off as it would no longer influence improvment or innovation.

    1. As for manga I think it varies, the site isn’t exactly the problem for things like slow updates, water prints, dirty scans, bad quality/translation etc, that’s all mainly because of the scanlators. On the other hand however, they’re doing all of this free of charge, so props to them. There’s lots of great manga sites (*advertising intensifies*) https://thebiem.com/read-manga-free/

      I try to buy series I like, even though pirating is good exposure, I think it’s not so good if most people choose to pirate as mentioned above, industries lose out. I don’t see it as a saviour in disguise, rather as a double edged sword.

      1. As for manga I was saying that there is 0 legal sites to read it if your a reader and there’s 0 legal sites that can compete against the pirated ones.

        As for anime, As I said without it the consumers could (and would for many other services) be abused beyond compare, The legal sites for anime is simply not as good on any level as the illegal ones, Crunchyroll doesn’t do much to add to the industry and all and anime strike was used as a quick money grab and then netflix promoted pirating even more by posting the entire anime 1 week after the final episodes, It’s sad that the pirating industy is the one inovaiting the most as well with 9anime actually somewhat using MAL’s stats and from what I’ve heard teaming up with them.

        Without pirating the industry would be worse as there would no longer be a acception to money wins all, The 3 places anime was put, 1 of which was actually just a less general service (crunchyroll) One that wants to control how the fans watch the medium(Netflix) and anime strike that wants us to pay twice which Isn’t in the least bit necessary.

        Then we got pirating sites which are fundamentally better choice, Faster streaming, Free high quality downloads, Active chatrooms, Show of constant improvement(9anime got a nice new homepage) All the payed sites have to do is give us a better reason to subscribe to them other then “it’s the right thing to do.” Cause I wanna pay for something that deserves it, Thats why I buy my favorite anime’s blue-ray. Hell the buissnes strategy of Kissanime was at one point theroretically pulling in over 2mil with like, Maybe 250kserver costs at MOST, The fact they’re winning money isn’t even because of the fact people have to pay, If I did have to pay and got the same service as it has now, I would pay for kissanime, Not crunchyroll.

        Double edge sword? Certainly, But if it’s a sword it’s the only sword we were given as consumers without having to avoid a entertainment that makes us happy.

  4. Yes, that’s an interesting way how things could work, but I doubt it. If there are many supporters then Crunchyroll would try to license anime in more countries and have more views which is a good thing. But because of this a lot of time will be consumed and the creators will have the same condition as they have right now. In the end, CR will be the one profiting more.

    As a matter of fact, the animators themselves are being payed less then what they deserve which is around 24k-40k Yen, I believe. Surely, one can understand that the line keeps on growing and money is less. It’s only a doubt why the production company has filed DMCA reports.

    But the main cause is the Money itself. Like I mentioned above, people might not have sources through which they could contribute. Even I don’t have a personal credit card to support them. Next thing is the pirated sites. I believe they are a necessary part too. Mostly, we don’t find much anime in Legal sites and are depressed. The only way we can watch those shows are through the pirated sites which I believe is a Normal way. We can request it to the sites too but time will consume.

    I believe DMCA can only remove videos and not the site itself. For example, if would have been easier if KA site was to be taken down in a hush but that’s not happening. Maybe they want people to watch anime but on sites that can help improve it. If KA were to be taken down right now, around 15% people can stop watching anime. It’s a natural cause.

    Same things can be done with the music industry too.
    1. Get a credit card or any source. Pay for the songs and listen them.
    2. Google some site and download songs from there.

    Both are easy methods but need to choose soon.

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