Quantcast
View Post
timmah said:
Trunkin said:
timmah said:
Trunkin said:
timmah said:
Just because a person is rich doesn't make it morally ok to steal from them. That would be like saying a particular store is making big profits, so it's ok to walk in and shoplift from them.

And the term 'file sharing' does not make it better than stealing. You own something that somebody worked to produce, and you didn't pay for it. Pirating games - stealing, pirating movies - stealing, pirating software - stealing, pirating music - stealing.


I would argue that the term "stealing" doesn't entirely fit the situation. When a person pirates media, he is only costing the distributor a potential sale--even then, there's no guarantee that they would have made the money that his piracy "cost" them, or that he would have bought it at all, had piracy not been an option. When you steal a videogame, movie, or album from a store, you not only deprived them a sale, but you also deprived the shop of the physical, tangible worth of that disc. I don't know if I'm stating this correctly. Basically, if a store has a $10 album, and I steal that physical album, they've lost $10. It's gone. Whereas if I pirate a $10 album, the "source" for that revenue remains, and, technically, the distributor has lost nothing.

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not trying to say that piracy is okay, just that the unique nature of digital media makes this a somewhat morally grey area. Personally, I do my fair share of pirating, but I also buy as much as I can afford, because if everyone pirated everything, no one would earn anything, and we can't have that.

Patent law would disagree with your reasoning. Stealing a copyrighted intangible that has value is legally still stealing. I would argue that the lost revenue attributed to sheer amount of theft by piracy trumps theft by taking related to media (movies, music).

Oh, it is most certainly against the law, but laws don't stop many people from publically smoking weed, or speeding. If you can get away with a crime, while at the same time abiding by whatever moral code you live by, why not break the law? I think piracy is similar, in a way. It's easy to placate your conscience when you can tell yourself, "What are the chances that I'll get caught" or, "I'm not hurting anyone--at least, not directly, so is what I'm doing really wrong?" There's also the fact that losses associated with piracy are extremely difficult to estimate. The erroneous claims that 27,000 jobs and billions of dollars in the entertainment industry have been "lost to piracy" don't help either.

I'm sure it's not as bad as the record industry would say, but there's no doubt that jobs have been lost in the industry due to piracy. Placating one's conscience does not make something right, which is why I don't pirate music.

I agree that it doesn't make it right, but it makes it feel, and eventually, in the mind, become "not wrong." Piracy isn't as plainly destructive as, say, breaking in someone's window and stealing their most prized and precious possessions--I'd need a pretty damn good excuse to justify directly traumatizing another human being in such a manner. Downloading copyrighted media for free, on the other hand, is directly beneficial to me, and I don't see what effect my actions are having on others. Also, because I don't bear sole responsibility for whatever results from my actions, it would be relatively easy to absolve myself of the blame should, say, my neighbor lose his house as a direct result of thousands of people downloading his music for free.

Once you've been a pirate for long enough, you find all kinds of ways to justify what you're doing, and after a while you forget what was wrong about it in the first place. I think it would be better if everyone had the same attitude towards it as you do, but, unfortunately, not many people do.