Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I've talked to many people about piracy (and no, not the Jack Sparrow kind). I've gotten reactions ranging from rabidly anti-piracy to "I wasn't going to buy it anyway."

I don't like piracy, but it doesn't keep me up at night. Thieves steal, that's what they do, and they'll continue to do it no matter what you do or what kind of DRM you come up with. They're smarter than you that way. Not that I wouldn't go through the motions if it was brought to my attention, and I'd certainly be annoyed, but I'm pretty jaded about it, and I don't believe in DRM. All DRM does is make your legitimate customers angry and frustrated, and less likely to buy your stuff in the future.

But if you're going to freaking pirate, at least admit it's stealing. The Husband and I talked to one guy, a few years ago now, who was a total white-bread yuppie-geek college student who bragged about how much stuff he'd pirated. And yet, no matter how we talked him in circles, he wouldn't admit it was theft.

"I wasn't going to buy it anyway, so it's not like they would've gotten my money."

Well, then, if you weren't going to pay for it, you shouldn't have gotten to play it, now should you? Why "waste time" on something that's not worth "wasting money" on?

"The artists got paid, this is just denying my money to big corporations."

No, this is stealing from big corporations. Who pay the artists. Who might decide not to pay the artists if the sales are too crappy because of pirating. Also, if you break into my house and steal my stuff, you are not stealing from my insurance company. You are stealing from me.

"It's not like it cost them anything. It's not like I'm taking a physical CD or something."

Bull. You're taking sales from them. That game or music or book or whatever cost someone money and time to put together. You are stealing because you are reaping the benefits of having the media without having paid for the media. End of story. If you don't want to pay for it, don't partake of the media. Most things have a demo nowadays anyway, so you can try before you buy and make sure it's worth it. Gods, the number of songs I've bought after listening to them for free on YouTube videos put up by the bands...

"Everybody does it."

Don't make me get all Mommy on your rear, punk. Odds are I hit a lot harder than your mommy did, or you might not have this entitlement attitude.

Besides, there is so much stuff out there that is legitimately free, why do you need to steal stuff? If you want that particular media that badly, then it's worth paying for. (Note: The Husband and I are patient people. He waits until the games he wants go on sale at Steam. I wait until SciFi Book Club has a sale, and I make crazy use of the library. We both wait for movies and TV shows to be available on Netflix. Etc.)

I know thieves. Like, people who used to break into your car or mug you on the street kind of thieves. (They got better.) And you know what? They admit that it was stealing. No one justifies lifting a car stereo by claiming that the owner played crappy music, so it's okay.

People are going to pirate stuff. I know that. People are mean, and selfish, and self-centered. But at least sack up and admit that you're stealing, to yourself if no one else.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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