“You always fear, what you don’t understand”
Never before have truer words befit a situation as those, to online piracy. It would seem today, the politicians seem to want to get involved in everything they don’t understand. The Internet and Internet piracy happens to be one of those many, many things. Downloading material from the Internet is one of those areas were people, seem to find it very easy to take the high ground.
As young children over the last 3 to 4 decades we have been taught to share (probably a lot longer, but i can only speak for my own life span). Sharing has been important as many of the download websites state that sharing is caring. The idea is that in true piracy someone gets hurt, physically usually (and historically, but today it seems to be fiscally). That is by no means the case in 99.99% of online piracy.
The biggest issue falls under the ownership of copyright. The ownership of ideas and fruits of creative process. The idea that you own something and you get paid for it has been one of the long-standing foundations of the human race and economics. But the problem is as many things tend to fall down the same way, is that content is priced out of the reach of the majority of people. This creates a level of aspiration. This is why there are so many fake goods coming out of countries like China where copyright laws somewhat, lax.
I have always maintained that it takes teamwork of the copyright owns. The film studios, music studios, record labels, TV studios, the cable companies and anybody else involved with making content that is frequently pirated. They need to band together and come up with a viable solution and the need to put aside their differences in the competitive attitude which will ultimately destroy them. Would it be so difficult to actually build a subscription service that had a reasonable price that covered all media? TV shows, films, music, computer games and books. Anything along those lines that people use in everyday life and consume maybe once or twice (Usually more where music is concerned). They could make this a global service and they could distribute everything at the same time to every demographic. Closing one of the issues that creeps up on people’s list of reasons why they pirate as widely do what they do.
I’m aware that sounds like a pipe dream. But the foundations of that are here. Services like Spotify and Steam from Valve are clear examples of how producing a system that easier and better to use than the experience of pirating can actually convert people. In fact one of the top men at valve the company that created Steam said “People pirate because there isn’t a legitimate way that’s easier to use.” I paraphrase, but he’s right. I’t why they made Steam and why it’s doing so well. There is a demand for a better way.
I suppose it all leaves me with this here is a diagram that explains quite well the difference sharing means. This is an issue that will continue to rage on as long as there are people wanting to try and make money from it. So I’m sure, I’ll talk on it again at some point. But until then please make your mind up and remember there is a difference between sharing and piracy.