The big talk is all about piracy. Those who hold the copyright are in disgust of the kind of freedom the technology offers the consumers. They are in disgust because their copyrighted materials are “stolen” from them and they are violated. The issues that the articles point out are the irresponsible use of technology to bring forth self-interest. And most people don’t feel the guilt because it is rampant and everyone is doing it. Many internet users commit piracy unknowingly when they download files like books, music, videos, and other media files from the internet.
It is piracy because instead for paying for what could have been their original copy, they get copies of same quality for free via downloading. PC Profile released an article criticizing Bill Gates for his tolerance with free downloading and for Gates’ statement that “Stolen is a strong word for piracy,” (2009). The article PC Profile released also presented some of the major consequences of this piracy violating copyright owners.
A cartoon on this article showed one character expressing his ill will of letting another character from installing software because that act of piracy would just end up giving the consumers a higher price for the next software products which will result to a big impact. Then the other character just stared at him and asked again if he will have the copy. It is funny because it depicts reality that many consumers are not concerned of this illegal act. It is illegal because we have a law that governs anti-piracy and protects copyright owners.
However, like Pfanner (2009) wrote in his article, it seemed that the law couldn’t catch up with technology. Violators could find ways and arguments to defend themselves so they will technically be non-violators of the anti-piracy law. It is one problem that lawmakers have to address. But again, it doesn’t seem effective because technology is exponentially growing and it will be difficult to track down those who commit piracy over the internet. PC Profile also mentioned that even education couldn’t help which I agree because even instructors download their books from file sharing sites.
When one gets hold of a soft copy of a file and then shared this file to another, the other person also becomes part of the act of piracy. Although he didn’t download it or copied it from the original material, he still obtained it illegally because he wasn’t paying for its copyright. There are media companies who really allow their files to be downloaded on the internet, and so, the free downloading of files becomes a big argument to people not only to developers against consumers but to developers against developers as well.
There are those who tried to justify their act of piracy like the case in the blog of Silverman (2008). But, although with reasons like that, it is still an illegal act. Lawmakers are looking for more ways that they could protect copyright owners. Some concern individuals also make campaigns against piracy over the internet. However, many still continue to download files from the internet, illegally. In an interview, singer Beyonce Knowles expressed her worries that people may not watch concerts because the people could be seeing her performance via sites like YouTube in a matter of days after the actual performance.
She is disappointed because she said she put on too much art over the stage, the lights, her performance and the wardrobe. This artist who expresses how unfair piracy could be for them is just one of the many who are violated when people stream and download files for free. It is very difficult, for users like me not to stay away from piracy. When we see options of free download, we are tempted and we completely forget the ethics of copyright infringement. If there will be no free downloads on the internet, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t download anything. However, there is file sharing and free music and video streams over the internet.
If they put fees on every download and stream, I may not commit piracy. And maybe, the publishers shouldn’t provide soft copies of their materials so none will be copied and no one will be tempted to copy it.
PC Profile. 2009. “It’s Soft, Therefore It’s Free. ” 20 April 2009. < http://www. pcprofile. com/Its_Soft_Therefore_Its_Free. pdf >. Silverman, Dwisght. 04 August 2008. “Updated — A question of ethics: Ripping library-loaned audiobooks. ” Houston Chronicles. Pfanner, Eric. 13 April 2009. “Should Online Scofflaws Be Denied Web Access? ” New York Times.