June 23, 2005

Crime? What crime?

contra piratasThe BBC reports on a survey that found that most people don't consider downloading or purchasing pirated software or games to be a crime but as something normal and inevitable.

This is something we've been observing here at Detritus.net for years. The industry has tried, worldwide, to instill an 'ethic' around 'piracy' of intellectual property, but it just hasn't worked. It would be interesting for someone to explore further the concious or subconcious rationalizations that most people have for using 'pirated' materials, and how concious the behavior actually is. Some possiblities, one could posit, might be:

  • it doesn't really harm anyone, because the companies that own this stuff are already and still making plenty of money.
  • it's too expensive but I need it (esp in case of software)
  • ideologic: information wants to be free
  • everybody else is doing it
  • I just don't care/haven't thought about it.

The truly sad thing, as the article states, is that the content industries will probably continue to waste lots and lots of money, even public money, on propaganda to try to change people's views. They're stealing money from all taxpayers, basically, to brainwash the taxpayer.

Posted by steev at June 23, 2005 02:16 PM

The main thing for me is that I can take a copy and leave the "original" behind - it's all about the physics and economics of information, which is fundamentally different from that of material goods. If I tell you something then we both know, I can't pass knowledge on without retaining it as well (and my use of 2+2=4 does not impinge upon anyone else's use.) As usual, the bigCorps are hiding behind the little guys, in this case artists and musicians, to try to convince folks to go along with their mad scheme to privatise all knowledge.

Posted by: dinsdale at June 23, 2005 03:17 PM