A Pirate’s Life for Me…

We’ve all seen the ads before movies, the anti-piracy ones that no matter how you try you can’t skip. Perhaps back in the days when they were more prevalent, there wasn’t as much as need for them as it there is today. But one has to question why their use has decreased.

I, for one, can think of one possible answer:

The fight against movie piracy is a lost cause.

In class during the week we spoke of ethics, specifically in relation to online content. In my experience, people these days are a lot more open about their use and downloading of material online, such as movies, music and even books. One has to question why this is, given that it is as much a crime today as it was back in the 90s and early 2000s. The subject no longer seems taboo, no longer something that you talk about in hushed voices. No longer something that is feared.

download (5)                                                                                           (source: http://www.pedestrian.tv  A still from the famous anti-piracy ads which, ironically, used pirated music)

From what I have seen on the matter, it seems to be a case of Robin Hood– take from the rich and give to the poor. Even if it’s not that extreme, this seems to be the most common justification given for the act of illegally downloading content. It’s argued that the (illegal) actions of one person won’t affect a company as big as Sony and that in itself is true. But we must look at the bigger picture: it’s not just one person.

If 200,000 people give this excuse- 500,000- then that adds up. That’s a lot of lost profit. Of course, it’s not as black and white as that. The justifications are seemingly never-ending and, from where I stand, illegal downloading is something that will take an awful lot to eradicate. Whether it’s even possible, I’m not quite sure.

What I do know, however, is that it’s a subject that is likely to remain controversial, and rampant, for years to come especially now that we are in the digital or information age.