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I've seen people say things like this before, "take me stuff, I don't mind, but pay back when you can". Which is cool, but what if someone says "Please don't take my stuff"? It seems to be one of the unanswered things in what I've read and seen about many of the people who feel piracy is absolutely fine.
If I made something you wanted but you either weren't willing or unable to afford it, and I asked you to not take it, would you leave it be? If you would take it, why? I just asked you not to. What right do you have to what I made? What makes your decision about the availability of something more important than the person who made it? And a million other questions...
I think it's so easy to justify piracy for a lot of people because they aren't actually TAKING it, as you said. They are downloading a COPY of it. Nothing was taken from you (other than potential revenue).
On top of that, (at least in my experience) some people pirate things they wouldn't buy otherwise. This means that the person who made the product isn't even losing potential revenue because the "pirate" wouldn't have bought it anyway if there was no way to pirate it.
A lot of people use piracy as a 'trial' of sorts. If I download a game or an ebook because I am unsure if I will like it, I might end up actually buying it if I do like it, and delete it if I don't.
And then there are people that pirate because they want something but don't have the money, or don't want to spend the money. This brings me back to the first point - they are taking a copy, so it's easier to justify as a victimless crime, even though the publisher is losing out on potential revenue.
I've always hated hearing the argument that some people wouldn't pay for it anyway. I feel that if you enjoy something, and it has a price tag, you should pay for it. Once someone downloads a song, or a book or movie, they are very unlikely to go out of their way to pay for it after the fact. People are bad enough already at paying off their credit cards.
Just because something is a "copy" of something doesn't make it any less tangible. Real hours of labor went into it, not to mention production costs. Time is an actual commodity, and it's spent on creating works of art. Just because the medium doesn't necessarily have a physical weight to it doesn't mean it's lost its value. And if the creator doesn't want to (or financially can't) give something away for free, no one in the public is entitled to getting it for free.
Most of the arguments in favor of piracy that I see are essentially a way for the perpetrator to make themselves feel better about the theft they are committing.
"I've always hated hearing the argument that some people wouldn't pay for it anyway. I feel that if you enjoy something, and it has a price tag, you should pay for it. "
What about those that don't know if they'll enjoy it? There are probably a lot of people that won't fork over the money to see if they enjoy something. Lets take a movie for example, there are dozens of movies every year that I simply would never fork over the money to see in the theater but if I download it and enjoy it there's a good chance I'll see the sequel or look up the director and see his next movie in the theater.
This can be applied to almost anything in the digital realm, there have been software I've pirated that I later bought simply because it was a quality piece of software. Had I not pirated I would have found a different solution to the problem.
It's the reason so much software now provides free trial version. IMO the rest of the world is simply slow to pick up this model and that's the only place where piracy is hurting them.
Sure there's a cost initially but IF the product is quality you build trust with people using your product and that is worth more than the quick buck you would have made if they bought a product right out of the gate.
I agree with everything you've said.
Funnily, whenever non-technical friends ask me about how to download (pirate) things, I've often asked why and they straight up say because they want it without having to pay for it.
People want good/healthy bodies without having to eat wisely and exercise regularly. There's a million other examples of things like this where people want something for nothing, and it's more sad when they feel entitled to it. I don't think we should support this attitude as it isn't realistic and leads to disappointment and pain.
Sorry, I didn't mean to fall int the whole concept of physical theft vs. digital. My main point was, if I ask a person, asked you to not use something I've made without having paid first, would you honour that?
I would love to run this experiment. First, I need to create something that many people would pirate. ;)
Maybe this a moral argument and really is simply 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Another thing is, will your life really suck if you haven't downloaded the latest GoT episode? Again, maybe this is more moral/lifestyle/whatever, but I feel like it's an important and unappreciated part of the dialogue.
I agree that trials are very important, even with small price tags too.
if I ask a person, asked you to not use something I've made without having paid first, would you honour that?
Depends. What is the product? Is there a free trial? Is it something I might want or use? How much is it?
Its not a black and white question.
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