Modern Day Pirates: Probably You


Insect of Terror
Staff member
Ok so I found this very interesting article and wasn't sure whether to post it in the USA politics thread or the European politics thread as it has elements of both and then decided, heck, this is a big enough topic that we can have a thread for it. Especially given the recent events with SOPA, the shutting down of Megaupload, and the fact that all of us (probably) have illegally downloaded something at one point or another.

Here is the article:

Its all about the ethics of internet piracy. Hold on, I hear you say, there's even a question of whether it could be ethical to pirate stuff? Well, this guy does make some valid points in favor of piracy. But he does end up saying that governments and whatnot need to make it more attractive for people to NOT pirate things otherwise all creative peoples will haveto find other ways of sustaining themselves and their families cos royalties just isn't happening these days.

On the subject of which, there was another thing I saw recently that caught my eye:

To what extent is this simply a ploy to protect the PirateBay (it operates under the auspices of this new religion and as such is probably protected by Swedish laws governing freedom of religious practice, etc.)? How legitimate is it really? Either way, it is clever, no doubt about it, and raises all sorts of questions about religion (what is it? what constitutes a legitimate religion?) and the fact that while 17th century pirates were a minority, nowadays it seems almost EVERYONE is a pirate. How do you legislate or regulate something that is supposed to be illegal, but that everyone does? Its almost like Prohibition, and we all know what happened there. And while we're on the subject, WHY do people pirate things so much? Is it simply because its so easy? Cheaper? As a protest against the corporate/capitalist world?

To close, I am sure some people have heated opinions about this and I'd love to hear them all. So friends, debate away: is internet piracy really a crime?


Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
The idea of a download honorarium is probably the right way to go - making something so cheap and easy to pay for they don't mind paying.
I buy most of my new music because a buck a song, or ten an album from iTunes is well within my means and I do think the band should be compensated for its efforts. But if I want to add Knocking At Your Back Door to my iPod I'm going to pirate it because Ritchie Blackmore got his money's worth out of me 25 years ago when I bought the vinyl.

But I do think think the entertainment industry doth protest too much.
When Somewhere in Time was among the first compact discs (as opposed to vinyl) I ever bought it cost me at least $20.
And I paid maybe $30 for my Somewhere On Tour ticket.
Now I can pick up The Final Frontier for $10 but the concert cost me $100.

So the industry adjusted.

Just like I still occasionally fork out $10 to see movie on the big screen instead of downloading a copy for free. Hell, I even kick in an extra $10 for a freaking coke and a popcorn.

The need for regulation is overrated. The market usually finds its own level.
As long as we want the product, the industry will adjust
I usually buy everything I download. I am a big supporter of iTunes.

That being said, there is still a lot of stuff that just isn't available to purchase. In that case, I will illegally download. If something is out of print, it's out of print...and I'm not going to throw $60 at some used copy on ebay!

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Downloading should be legal at all costs. But the thing that has got to change is mindsets. Once you download the thing, you're not supposed to be done with it. If you like the material, go buy the original. Buying the original release should be the way of appreciation, not the way of getting to know. Free downloading is the perfect way to discover stuff. Hell, I became a Maiden fan through free downloading and videos on YouTube. And then I bought the original releases.


Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I download what I can't buy yet, I download what I can't find, and I download what I already own. For instance, I don't feel bad downloading the run of Extreme Ghostbusters, because it is impossible to find a DVD copy of it without going online, and even then, quality is up in the air. I prefer to buy in stores because I can guarantee the quality. I download shows that aren't out on DVD yet, like the current season of The Big Bang Theory. And I download what I already own. I don't feel bad downloading a copy of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flick, because I own it on VHS somewhere.

When it comes to music? If I like it, I buy it. I don't listen to the radio so I don't have a way to access music without digital obtaining. My iTunes library is getting larger every pay.


Ancient Mariner
I'm torn. But bottom line, cheapskates that pirate albums they like listening to hurt the artist, at least if it's a low-mid level band.

Why? Because they pay for the recording and they need to cover the costs. If they don't, they will usually owe the record company, and are likely to be dropped in any case.

I feel that music has kind of lost its value to a broad range of people. It's something they are entitled to and fuck those who say otherwise. It's part of the reason why governments all around the world are tightning their grip of the internet. It's cause and effect. Everybody whines about 1984 and for good reason - It's some scary shit and something that does not belong anywhere where the word "democracy" is worth a dime. However, we are partly responible for it, and failure to recognize it and adress it will only lead to more of these outrageous countermeasures by the film/music industry.

On the other hand, a lot of crap's being sold. This is something downloaders see as justification for not paying squat (I can relate to it. The latest Primal Fear CD is great- However, the fucking cymbals distort!! And to me, that's studying audio production, it's enraging. It's not acceptable. Therefore I will not buy it - I bought a couple of other records instead. Doesn't stop me from listening to it though. In the old days, a flawed production like that would not have passed the quality control. They would've been told that the engineer/producer is an idiot and to record the drums all over again). However, because music doesn't sell like it used to, labels tend to stake their money into well established artists, rather than investing them in new bands (because it's a gamle! And they are likely to lose the money rather than make money or break even). I do however hope, but find it unlikely, that if the industry recognizes this and start supporting bands rather than see them as dispensable flavour of the month money-cows that they have to milk every penny out of, because the milk gets sour very, very quickly, it might turn around. I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon though, and I doubt that it would encourage downloaders to pay anyway - Free tastes too good. Well, it bites everyone in the ass, because nowadays most people have around 10% the budget for an album and it results in records that leave a lot to be desired, both sonically and generally productionwise.

I'm not saying I'm innocent at all. I have however purchased a great deal of CD's, concert DVD's and so forth, because I feel I want to own physical copies, as well as the obligation to support the artist, as well as the realisation that failure to do so will bite me in the ass.