Piracy…one of the most talked about activities on the Internet for the last 5-10 years. What is piracy? What has it done to the Internet and our society? Should it become legal? How has it been controlled? Is there a benefit to piracy? I will be taking you on a little “piracy journey” if you will, to help communicate to you what piracy really has become.
What Is Piracy?
Piracy or in more technical terms copyright infringement is ultimately an illegal activity that is committed when an individual downloads a creators work for free without the rights to do so. Some of the major works that piracy targets are the following:
- TV Shows
Piracy can be found everywhere and anywhere on the Internet. Search for a song, a free download link is bound to pop up on the first page of Google. Want to watch a TV Show you missed the night before…no problem, you can either choose to download the episode from a site like this or stream the episode from any type of sharing sites out there. Oh and did I mention this is all available at your fingertips, free of charge, and you don’t even have to move a muscle…well maybe a few, if those little fingers on your hands count. It is that easy and that illegal, all at the same time!
What Has Piracy Done to the Internet and Our Society?
Ever since the Internet has been advancing, piracy has been equally advanced. Increased users on the Internet along with technological progressions we see in our everyday lives has aided in the growth of piracy. Both the music and movie industries have taken a huge hit, with album sales at an all time low and movie distribution stores like Blockbuster filing for bankruptcy. Both these industries have had to shift their business models and strategize around piracy, which if you ask me, is totally wrong. The music industry heavily relies on concerts and tours for income, as they know CD sales are nothing compared to a few decades ago. The movie industry pushes for box office success rather then advertise when a DVD is going to hit the shelves. This has all been brought on because of piracy. Piracy has given everyday Internet users the opportunity to take away from the creators that have had such a significant role in today’s society, and without their work and art, our views and attitudes could be terribly different.
Should Piracy Become Legal? How Has It Been Controlled?
Organizations have done a good job to utilize the Internet in their favour for the fight against piracy. Netflix is a company that does this well. They offer a cheap service to anyone and in return they gain an endless amount of entertainment. iTunes offers the same type service for multiple industries that have been affected by piracy. iTunes offers music, movies, books and TV episodes at affordable prices all at your fingertips. But even with these companies succeeding, piracy is still very much apparent on the Internet, which leads us to the inevitable question. Should piracy become legal? This has been an ongoing debate and will continue to grow, but what does the government have to lose in legalizing piracy? The affected industries have already found coping strategies to make sure piracy does not affect them as much, and organizations like Netflix, iTunes and Amazon are thriving off the increased amount of users on the Internet. Is there really much else that can be done in regards to piracy? Only time will tell, but I myself am not against piracy becoming legal if nothing else can be done to control it.
Can Piracy Be Beneficial?
Most of the time, there is a good side to every bad thing. Piracy is no different. Right away people look at piracy as being illegal and ethically wrong, and this I do not disagree with. But what if you look past its illegality and see the good in piracy. Piracy has gone on to enhance the most powerful marketing strategy we know right now, word of mouth marketing. Piracy can also be used as an advertising technique to help get the creators work in more peoples ears, or on more peoples screens then ever before. These are just some of the benefits piracy has on today’s society, and if the government found ways to utilize piracy for their own benefit as well as others, it could be the ultimate solution to Internet piracy.
Your thoughts are welcomed. Keep calm and browse on!