To Pirate or not to Pirate, that is the Question

Almost everyone knows what pirating is, and if they do not for some reason, pirating is when someone illegally copies a program, song, movie, TV show, etc. and distributes it for free or minimal cost. After a developer spends months and months to get to the final product that works, it only makes sense that they receive all the credit/money for the product correct? Unfortunately majority of the world doesn’t see it like that, or at least they do, however they do not do anything about it. Everyone who pirates is aware that what they are doing is illegal and they could potentially go to jail for it, but everyone presumes the usual, “that will not happen to me” mentality and does it anyway. There is even some companies like Hollywood recording companies that have passed the Stop Online Piracy Act to the sentate to alleviate this problem and hopefully put a stop to pirating. There are some pretty obvious pros and cons to pirating music, as well as some not so obvious reasons listed below.

PROS

– Free: Whenever someone is downloading, copying, streaming data it is usually for free and if not it is for a cheap profit of the distributor for their time/effort. For example, buying a $2 burned movie off a guy at the farmers market, or downloading that movie free online. I myself have pirated the odd song here and there and this is the main reason why; I am a student on a limited income, so why not if its available?

– Easy access: Anything pirated you can either use right away by the click of a button, or you have to wait a hour or two while the file downloads. For example, why would you ever choose to drive to a rental store, rent a movie for $5 thats due back the next night if you had the option to stream/download the movie instantly and have it saved on your computer forever? I for one hate having to go to the movie rental store and stand there having to decide in front of literally a store full of option. Much more convenient to chose from the comfort of home.

– Demo item before spending money on something you do not like: Pirating give a person the opportunity to download for cheap/free in order to test out the product before you go sped big money on it. For example, if you needed to purchase an all in one computer program but weren’t sure what one, you can test out each to see how you feel about it first before spending $200 in store blindly.

CONS

– Illegal: the main, and most obvious con to pirating media would be the fact that it is illegal. Copyright laws are put on and software, program, movie, TV show etc to protect the intellectual rights of the creator. These laws however are greatly underestimated and people tend to think “it will not happen to me”, or worse, have been doing it their whole life and consider it a normal moral. I would have to admit, I fall under the category who believes it will not happen to them.

– Spyware and Viruses: when programs, software and media are pirated, it’s usually from an untrusted source and therefore can contain anything from a virus, to a Trojan horse, to spyware. All which can cause serious damage to your computer and files before it’s too late to fix it.

– Quality: When you are downloading a pirated program or file for free, or getting it from someone else, you usually get the quality you pay for, which in this case is crappy quality. This is the main reason why I do not pirate things, when it comes to songs especially, the quality is sub par to say the least; No one likes listening to a staticy song on their iPod.

– Artists rights: When an artist spends months working on a song for example, they defiantly deserve all the credit/revenue from the song. Pirating does save the customers money, however takes those profits away from the artist themselves.

As you can see, there is a fine line among what is okay/ what is legal when it comes to pirated programs and media. It is 100% up to the person pirating to make the decision form here. Do the pros outweigh the cons or visa versa? I personally would have to say the pros beat the cons in a large way. What do you think?

Here is a linkto another blog with similar thoughts.

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