Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion]

James Bruce 03-02-2012

Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] feature piracyDMCA What Is the Digital Media Copyright Act? Read More , SOPA, MegaUpload Why MegaUpload, And Who's Next? In the middle of some very aggressive anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, the feds managed to prove that they don't need to pass such a bill to pull the plug on a certain internet website. The casualty this... Read More shut down, piracy becoming a religion in Sweden – not a week goes by without some shutdown, anti-piracy laws or shocking statistics about torrents – and I have to ask myself, is it really worth it? Is this really how want to be spending our time as a society? Is piracy actually all that bad?


MakeUseOf does not condone piracy in any way. This article expresses the opinion of a single author only and should not be taken as the representative opinion of MakeUseOf as a whole.

“Piracy”? Really?

The very word chosen to describe the term copyright infringement is misappropriated. Piracy used to mean acts of violence at sea, and physical stealing of gold. As is said time and time again – piracy is not the same as stealing. Stealing takes the item away from the original owner. Piracy was chosen to deliberately evoke an emotional response.

If the music industry insists on equating copyright infringement with stealing, I think it’s time we put a new face on piracy. Have you ever heard the story of Robin Hood and his merry band of men? He lived in the forests of Sherwood, England, and whenever a rich upperclassman would travel through the forest, they would hold them up and steal their gold and jewellery. They would then give it all to the poor people in town. “Rob from the rich, give to the poor” – Robin Hood was the great equaliser, a legendary hero to the common man. I think it’s about time we replace the verb “pirate” with “Robin Hood“, and see how the perception of copyright infringement changes then.

Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] robin hood vs piracy

Rich Enough?

The music industry as a whole is undoubtedly making somewhat lower profits than it was 20 years ago, though digital sales are undergoing rapid growth. Should we really care about their losses? Doubtful. Major artists are overpaid, and the executives that own the record companies are overpaid too. Do you really think I care if P.Diddy can spend a few less nights every year in that 7-star Dubai hotel that costs $28,000 a night? No, I sure as hell don’t.


Whatever losses you are making Mr Music Industry, take them out of his paycheck. No one deserves that much money, ever. Same to you Mr Hollywood.

Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] p diddy champagne

I wonder though…what would happen if you charged fair and reasonable prices for music? If you put those executive and artists salaries down to something reasonable, and charged fair prices with a fair percentage going to the smaller artists – do you think piracy would be such an issue then? I don’t.

It Doesn’t Hurt The Smaller Developers/Producers/Indie Bands

Anti-piracy statements inevitably come only from the big companies and big artists who are already rich. The smaller artists – the indie bands and such – are usually quite encouraging of piracy. Anything that gets their name out there, creates a buzz, brings people to gigs – is always a good thing.


I think all of us are happy to pay when we can afford it, and the price is reasonable. Here’s indie developer Notch – creator of Minecraft – who when asked by a fan who couldn’t afford the game what to do, replied:

@AndresLeay Just pirate it. If you still like it when you can afford it in the future, buy it then. Also don’t forget to feel bad.

Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] minecraft notch

Trent Reznor, lead singer of industrial band Nine Inch Nails, understands how the music companies screw the consumer:

The ABSURD retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia. Shame on you, UMG. Year Zero is selling for $34.99 Australian dollars ($29.10 US). No wonder people steal music. Avril Lavigne’s record in the same store was $21.99 ($18.21 US).

By the way, when I asked a label rep about this his response was: “It’s because we know you have a real core audience that will pay whatever it costs when you put something out – you know, true fans. It’s the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy.”

So… I guess as a reward for being a “true fan” you get ripped off.

More recently, PirateBay even [NO LONGER WORKS] launched an initiative to highlight a single artist on the homepage by allowing those who freely distribute their music on the site to upload a small picture that will be randomly displayed on the PirateBay homepage, linking to their YouTube channel or blog.


Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] tpbpromo

The point is – piracy doesn’t hurt the little guy. If anything, it helps the little guy.

Lost Revenue Figures Are BS

We’re constantly hearing outrageous figures for how much piracy “costs” the industry. £200 million a year, they cry out in the UK. But all these figures assume that a single download would otherwise have been converted to revenue. Now while I don’t doubt that some people choose to download instead of purchasing the product, the vast majority of downloads are those that otherwise wouldn’t have been a sale anyway. Take that figure, and shave 95% off it, and it’s a whole lot more believable – and suddenly, somewhat irrelevant in the big scheme of things.

A Waste Of Money

When tough new measures for ISPs in the UK were suggested back in 2009, British Telecom estimated that dealing with the new rules and regulations could cost them up to £1 million a day. That’s £365 million a year, to save the industry £200 million – which was an overestimated loss anyway.


It’s not just a waste of money though – governments around the world spend thousands of hours working through these laws, launching various committees to discuss proposals. That’s your tax dollars at work there, by the way. Do you honestly think they aren’t some more serious problems they could be dealing with?

Anyway, that’s my take on all this piracy nonsense. The “problem” is overblown, and the people it really hurts could do with being taken down a notch or two anyway. Services like iTunes Store and Netflix are creating new revenue streams, reducing piracy Is Netflix The Solution to Video Piracy? [Opinion] Netflix recently launched in the UK - and I wrote up a full and shining review of the service last time. It offers an affordable way to get high quality on-demand movies and TV straight... Read More by providing viable and affordable alternatives the traditional model.  Society and governments waste time and money on catering to the whims of executives, and I say it’s time we just stopped caring about so-called piracy.

Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] download a car

How about you, what’s your take on piracy? Do you agree it isn’t actually a problem at all, or is it a scourge of the Internet age that must be tackled?

Image credit: ShutterStock

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  1. Hans Michael Reitz
    November 10, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    In my very own modest and private opinion the war on piracy undertaken by all sorts of organizations is the very same bullshit-war as the police spending more valuable time on writing parking tickets to collect money more than anything than they spend on pursuing those who break into our homes or businesses and who most of the times cause "collateral" damage far in excess of what they actually steal.
    And it is only one more of the things which thanks to a certain tribe of people amongst us is wrong with this world.
    All those whose job it is to uphold the law and to defend justice who are in reality twisting and turning it out of all proportion and who are earning more money out of claiming some authors rights than they could ever make out of one family whose home and privacy have been cruelly assaulted and destroyed. I heartily agree with the author of the article but the real problem are not the authors of film and music or even the industries involved. The real problem is the legal system that permits itself being abused in such a way for the personal benefit of the lawyers and associated ****** . The real problem is the sick justice-system. Respectfully M.

  2. MakeUseOf reader
    February 26, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    The hypocrites at MakeUseOf defend illegal piracy, but also takes out the time to decry adblocking, since their revenue comes from ads. Here's a tip; if you want to advocate for people to stop using legal means to take revenue from your site, you should also stop advocating for the same people to use illegal means to steal revenue from others.
    Stealing a music album or a piece of software is no different from taking hardware from a store and walking out without paying for it. If you would do the latter, then most people would agree that you're a filthy criminal, but if you do the former, somehow it's justified. Here's a suggestion; if you can't afford the software... don't buy it! It's that simple. Use something else. Whatever you do, don't steal it.

  3. Robert B
    May 5, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    The main question that needs to be asked is why do people download copyrighted material. The main reason for most is due to barely having enough to just eat, but for some like myself it is a form of civil disobediance and a protest of the corruption that Washington is infected with. When is the last time you have ever seen any copyrighted material make its way into public domain? I feel strongly that current copyright law is only inteded for the rich to take away from the vast majority of talented people who creat the things we enjoy so much and to screw the rest of us by charging extremely inflated prices. The average musician, artist etc etc either never get the chance and when they do they are only paid small paltry sums for their work by the big corporations. I personally belive that the only people who should be allowed to own a copyright is the person who created the work, not some big corporation. Once a pon a time a copyright was inforce for the life of the artist plus 70 years so that the persons heirs could benifite from their talents but now with the selling and buying of copyrights by big corporations a copyright these days is perputial. If someone decides to sell his copyrights then strict restrictions as to how long they will be valid for should be in place, like for the remainder of that persons life plus 70 years when the work would then be placed into public domain. When are things going to change whith our governments and start passing laws that benefit the vast majority of people and not just some rich bastard sitting in a corporation? As far as I am concerned fk the DMCA, RiAA, and the MPAA and Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Rum!

  4. Beck
    April 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    James, I agree with your thoughts on piracy and I found this article very informative and interesting. However, it would appear that your take on the distribution of wealth seems almost Communistic in nature. As a Libertarian I do not agree with the Federal minimum wage, nor any government involvement in the free market, but on that note to make a maximum wage would be illogical given our system of wealth. Without venture capitalists possessing exorbitant amounts of money, capitalism simply would not work. Everyone being in the middle class would be wonderful, but it's just not realistic. Some people just simply refuse to work, and the rich/middle class should not be a crutch for them. It's simply capitalism. It sucks, but look at the alternatives.

    • muotechguy
      May 4, 2012 at 9:35 am

      I lived in Japan for 8 years; my wife is Chinese. I think it's fair to say I have a good idea of alternative societies. Japan may be capitalistic, but the wages are realistic and the difference between the lowest and highest paid is far, far less than it is here; through self governance though - there are no laws that state executives should take lower wages. They just have a deep understanding that society functions better that way. I agree communism is a goddamn failure, and thats one reason I choose not to live in China (though really, China is actually just as capitalistic as America, if not more so). I also also completely agree that the criminal underclass and benefit suckers of society should not be tolerated; a large proportions of British folk have grown up with not a single working parent and choose to spend what little they have on fags and booze. I have no sympathy for them, far from it.

      Interestingly, in Japan they create meaningless jobs for the lower classes. If you ever visit, you'll see an abundance of pointless workers waving red batons around; directing cars, or acting as static bollards for construction work. They get minimum wage - basically what they would have on benefits - but they go to work everyday, and earn it; regardless of how meaningless the job is, it gives them personal meaning in their life and instills the work ethic. For most Japanese, the idea of staying on benefits is shameful; they would rather drop out of society and live homeless. The job centre makes incredible efforts to both teach new skills, and make sure you are actually applying/attending interviews. In some cases, they even find you suitable work themselves, and arrange the interview. If you refuse to work, you lose benefits. It's a system that works. I know, because I was out of work for 2 months over there. It's incredible what we can learn from other cultures if we just bother to look.

      Sadly, such a system here would result in riots, as the criminal and lazy underclass complains of being forced to work slave labor; that we are denying them the basic human right to free choice; that society is basically unfair for making them work; that a back injury from 7 years ago means they are physically incapable of it.

      Sorry, this got somewhat derailed. But, just wanted to clarify my stance for you...

      • muotechguy
        May 4, 2012 at 9:36 am

        (I am James, btw, this is my admin account; lest I be accused of some sort of deception as I have elsewhere in various threads)

      • To6k0v
        July 20, 2012 at 9:56 am

        James reading this about Japan really makes me go and visit this wonderful country . I really love and adore their culture and I like everything about it ! It's totally the other side of the coin considering where i live. Here in god damn Bulgaria there is not much difference between the low and the mid class ,yet the society is not quite happy .You get between 200-800 lv which is 100-400 euro and the rich are a joke in the face of the world .Not to mention that there is lack of work. You simply can't find a job ... I mean to work in a carwash you need to have 6 months of experience.. what is this ? Also in this land of corruption the euro funds are vanishing like ice in an oven . Not to mention that we have a considerably big minority of people " roms " who simply refuse to work, make a lot of children to take benefits.The infrastructure is the same since WW2 .Also statistics show that every next generation gets dumber and dumber ... So surviving on those kind of money in this country u don't quite have the choice but to " pirate" stuff out of the internet and yes our government tried to support ACTA
        , SOPA and etc. kind of organisations and of course failed .. My point is that we have far grater problems than "piracy" and i support "file sharing" . Like Notch said i tried something and i bought it because i liked it .

        In the end my hopes remain that i will leave this country and go somewhere I will have a decent salary and actually afford the stuff I want .

  5. Charles
    April 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Right on.....I wrote a blog article about piracy awhile ago, but your article went a little bit more in-depth. I agree 100% btw :)

    [Broken Link Removed]

  6. Paulo
    February 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    James, I do agree with you 200%

    You touched the point! Bad for some, good for many! Sharing is one the the best thing that you could do! Open you universe and knowlege allowing you to reach levels that the common mortal could not achieve, without it, for differnt reasons, but the mainly one, offcourse is money!

    Congratulations for your post!

  7. Count Stex
    February 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I'm not sure why something being priced higher than you want to pay for it should lead immediately to breaking the law and just taking it? There are many things in life I either can't afford to buy or are priced higher than I want to pay for them.
    Know what I do? Don't buy them. 
    There seems to be a growing belief in society that you have a 'right' to own anything you want, irrespective of the cost of it, which is just detrimental to society as a whole as it lessens the value of others work.

    • James Bruce
      February 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Normally, I would agree with you. But we're not talking about physical goods, we've talking about a digital copy of something - data. Drawing parallels between the two isn't a logical argument, so I'm afraid we'll just have to disagree there. 

      • Count Stex
        February 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm

        So the fact that you haven't taken ownership of a given number of particles makes it morally different for you?
        I fail to see how this fact gives you a 'right' to have a version of the item in question. Why can you not just choose to not own the item in anyway?

        I do agree that these 'lost sales' figures are entirely fictitious as these people will not ever pay for the content. I just dislike the validation of the act or piracy as a legitimate response to the situation.

        • James Bruce
          February 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

          I don't think this does give someone a 'right' as such to commit a crime - I'm really just saying that personally, I could care less - and I don't think that as a society we should demonizing the act to the point of creating ridiculously powerful new laws. In the big scheme of things, it really doesn't matter. From my point of view, it's a victimless crime - like smoking pot. I'm not going to encourage anyone to do that either, nor to justify it - but I don't think the act of smoking a leaf grown naturally should justify the amount of money spent trying to combat it. The problem is just overblown. 

        • Count Stex
          February 7, 2012 at 11:01 am

          I agree that is is wasting money that could be put to better use and is really not going to help anything. But the only reason they see this need is that so many people do it because it has become so accepted. If 90%+ of people didn't do it because they found it morally unacceptable, then it wouldn't be seen as a major threat (real or perceived) to these companies and they wouldn't bother spending so much time and effort upon it. We, the tech savey public, as a whole have brought this upon ourselves. We never would have had to put up with over zealous DRM solutions, or other protective measures that push up the cost of each item and create serious headaches for those who try to follow the 'right' road.
          I guess what I am saying is, if you don't like the way these companies try to deal with piracy then help to stop piracy itself, then they won't have a need to do so.
          Anti-piracy is a symptom not the problem itself.

  8. guested
    February 6, 2012 at 6:45 am

    A valid moral explanation I think for why in his view 'piracy' or theft through P2P means of music and movies is ok. I agree.
    He's not telling anyone its not a crime, we all know that it is albeit kind of a grey area if you want to argue about it. Either way this is not the point. The point is, or at least the point I perceived is that the hype and discussion around the changing and further enforcing of these laws surrounding 'piracy' or sharing from this moral objective is just plain wrong. there is no solid argument for changing these laws in comparison with the dangers to the small independent artists and the medium which P2P has gifted them in respect to getting their name out there and the invasion of privacy and repression of the freedom the internet provides. Not to mention the shadow operations that this kind of new power could provide large co-operations, through corrupt officials in order to repress individuals, groups and small starting up cyber companies that they perceive to be threatening. Which would be both an illegal and yet a completely protected action.
    So the question kinda becomes how much do you trust the government to be un-corruptible and keep constant tabs on the use of such new powers which if taken to its full extent would be almost practically impossible. You may not think this likely to happen, but do you out right deny that it could? Because if you can't do you really think the actual positive influence of this law on the music industry could possibly out way its potential disastrous and pretty much irreversible negative affects. Or is it only really going to serve the already rich.

    I say back off and let the industries evolve naturally into the modern age, stop crying about spilt milk music industry and realize you've been given a gold mine.

    Those who steal and don't care, will still steal.
    Those who steal but care, will still buy what they can when they can.
    Those who don't steal and don't agree with it aren't going to steal either way.

    But those who buy cause their friend told them about or sent them a band online like lending them a CD in real life might never buy it if their friend hadn't used P2P too obtain and share it.

    Now think about the amount of illegal downloads, divide it by the fraction you think appropriates the percentage of influenced sales too downloads and even with the most conservative estimate tell me that doesn't out way the extremely exaggerated so called 'damages' from 'Piracy' and I'll call you mistaken.

    The real reason we're seeing these laws I believe and all this pressure from the large labels is because their threatened. Why would I give them 80%+ of the profit from my work if I can just get my band name out there myself on the internet for free and have a much much higher exposure than they would ever be able to provide a small starting band. Also I'd be free of their influence and meddlings to make the music I wanted too, true culture not manufactured. Not forgetting I'd be free of binding contracts mindless profiteering paper junkies.

    Anywayy just my opinion, I was bored and got carried away.

    • James Bruce
      February 6, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Thanks 'guested', it's good to know that at least someone gets it. ;)

  9. J. Lockhart
    February 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I understand that you're concerned about artists getting overpaid, James, but you seem to be forgetting that the money is routed to a lot of folks – songwriters, producers, recording engineers, studio musicians, cashiers who actually sell hard copies (they do exist), concert vendors, management, etc. and etc. You're talking about Robin Hood, but you're effectively wanting to remove a money source from the small guy. That's not cool.

    (If I remember correctly, and I may be wrong, a lot of an artist's money actually comes from live performances.)

    • James Bruce
      February 6, 2012 at 9:11 am

      I'm all for making sure the little guy gets paid, Josh. But you can't have it both ways - paying more the little guys means less to the big ones. 

      Have you ever wondered why governments are happy to dictate a minimum wage (hey, who are we to say how much that company should pay its lowest employees, its a free enterprise society and if they dont want a low paid job then someone else does, right?) - yet there's no legislation on a *maximum* wage? That seems pretty screwed up to me. 

  10. Dannywill7
    February 5, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Putting your hand in someone else's pocket is a loosing game.  Worry about what you pay for a product and its value to you, not what someone up the chain makes from it.  If you did that, you would be shoplifting Walmart because the $$$ they make on all those Chinese products is criminal.

    • James Bruce
      February 6, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Spot on. 

  11. Lunacy
    February 5, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I think one point that was implied but not stated outright is that all of these "piracy" laws aren't about stopping people from stealing.  It is about increasing revenue via the easiest method, nothing more nothing less.  CD sales have been declining for well over 10 years.  Instead of paying $15 or $20 and buying an entire CD people are paying $0.99 (each) for the one or two songs they want.  However the music industry, refusing to admit that they aren't producing music that people are will to shell out big $$ for or take a pay cut, has determined that most people are stealing their products and that is why they aren't making the money they feel they should be making.  So the easiest way to increase their revenues is to sue people who have made music available online and cannot afford to defend themselves from a multibillion dollar industry. 

    If this was really about the theft of their intellectual property then they would be more concerned with the the massive counterfeiting operations that are actually costing them millions in profits than individuals making a few dozen songs available on the internet costing them thousands.

    • bb
      February 5, 2012 at 4:25 am

       Lunacy:  This is about content owners getting paid for stuff they created / own. If you doesnt enjoy their product you are free to NOT buy it, but you also CANT steal it, enjoy it, and then claim that you didnt like the song anyway.

      To your point "So the easiest way to increase their revenues is to sue people who have
      made music available online and cannot afford to defend themselves from a
      multibillion dollar industry.  " -

      No one suing anyone if the content owner has made their music available for free, out their own free will. Why do you feel so?

  12. Anonymous
    February 4, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Congrats on the article!
    There's one more aspect of the "piracy" that these dumb@ss-greedy-retards don't understand: LEARNING! I bet that 85% (I would say even more) of the artists who use Photoshop, 3dSMax, Maya, zbrush, premiere, final-cut, etc have LEARNED these programs AFTER downloading them illegally. So, this way they've become future users of LEGALLY downloaded versions of those mentioned programs, because you either get hired by a company who purchased the soft or open your own business and purchase it. These days, the industry is requiring knowledge of a lot of programs and you can't just take courses that cost thousands for each damn program (and get in debt way over your head), so you download some of them and learn by yourself. 
    Just try to imagine a world without this possibility! Think at the poor countries where people are still struggling for food, let alone other things... like India, China etc, they provide the West with quality gray matter, if they wouldn't have had the chance to learn what they know, by "stealing", they wouldn't have had any chance!
    Piracy is an investment in the big companies own future, without the people who use their stuff, they would have no future. 

    • James Bruce
      February 5, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Spot on, I totally neglected to mention that. 

  13. Anonymous
    February 4, 2012 at 10:16 am

    i sort of agree in some sense.
    i think artists should just do away with the record companies and sell their music on web stores directly instead.
    I think record companies should really disappear or at least change how they operate than blame others.

    And another reason for some people do download or buy from web stores is that some times you only like certain songs, why do you need to pay for 20 songs when i may only want 2 of them. (well they sort of fixed some of that already if you can see how much itunes store is making)

    It is unethical but somewhat justifiable in some cases.

    • bb
      February 5, 2012 at 4:18 am

      Middle men exist for a reason, cause they fullfil a function.  Trust me if record labels didnt offer something of value they would have been long gone. Thats just the way free markets operate.

      To your point... "And another reason for some people do download or buy from web stores is
      that some times you only like certain songs, why do you need to pay for
      20 songs when i may only want 2 of them. (well they sort of fixed some
      of that already if you can see how much itunes store is making)"

      You know that you can buy 1 or 2 songs that you like via itunes by paying for them right? In which case it is not piracy.

      • James Bruce
        February 5, 2012 at 10:05 am

        Middle men exist because someone saw a way to exploit people. They came about in an age when digital distribution didnt exist, and there was simply no way to reach the audience. Not true anymore, and they aren't needed anymore. Simple. 

  14. bb
    February 4, 2012 at 4:18 am

    "As is said time and time again – piracy is not the same as stealing. Stealing takes the item away from the original owner."

    Stealing = Taking something from the owner against their wishes. Why are we distorting facts here to justify things.

    • James Bruce
      February 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

      I wonder why it's called file "sharing" then?

  15. Howard Pearce
    February 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Well, I'm glad the author "knows" that some people make too money that he "knows" that don't need ! 
    Give me a break ... we don't need totalitarian rulers running around telling others what they need and don't need .... even if those other are "rich".

    As for Robin Hood, he took money not just from the rich but more specifically from those rich that obtained their riches in the first place thru the legaities of the law but which were in fact still acts of theft in themselves.
     Drawing that conclusion from this that it is ok to steal from the rich and give to the poor is a clear contradiction to any view of equality before the law for all people of all races, sexuality, and yes, even social class such as rich or poor.

    • James Bruce
      February 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

      So you think it's ok to have super-rich class of people? Fine, but I disagree. The happiest nations on earth are those with the lowest disparage between the top earners and the bottom earners. That's a fact, so if you think it's ok to have the highest earners getting 100000x the lowest earners, then I dont want to live in your world. 

      It's strange how governments support minimum wage, but not a maximum wage. Because suddenly that makes them "totalitarian"?

      So I get the impression you think Robin Hood was a bad man? Fair enough, but I think you're in the minority. 

      • Tina
        February 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm

        As James said, the happiest nations are those with only a very a narrow gap between poor and rich, and a solid middle class. What's more, in nations with a large gap between the two, not even the rich or very rich are happy. So it's in their own best (happiness and health) interest to give up some of their wealth (read: pay more tax) and lift the poor up to a middle class level (read: pay them better wages and provide better/free public services).

        • bb
          February 5, 2012 at 6:35 am

          Tina: The rich got there by working hard and taking risks. There was atleast one person who worked their ass off to get to where they are and the rest of family might get a free ride.

          However by stealing from each other you are only hurting us, not the rich. The rich have a diversified portfolio to make up for piracy losses.

        • James Bruce
          February 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

          That's incredibly naive. I dont disagree a lot of rich people worked hard, but that doesnt mean they deserve to be 10,000 times richer than anyone else. Did they work 10,000 harder? No. A large proportion of wealth at the top tier is generated by virtue of the fact they already have some fortune. Once you have a million pounds, however you got it, you no longer have to work and can live on the interest. Or you can reinvest, and pay a lower rate of tax on investment gains that regular people pay on earned income. It's far easier to make wealth once you already have a little. Then you can fiddle your taxes by hiring good accountants, and pay less tax than everyone else. 

          The fact remains that in countries where the rich are not so rich, and the poor are not so poor, everyone is happier. 

          The solution is to either seriously ramp up the top tier tax levels, and combat tax avoidance there; or put a cap of wages and bonuses. 

        • Tina
          February 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm

          bb, the point I made actually wasn't about piracy, but about something much more substantial: dysfunctional societies. I admit I got off track.

        • Joe Channon
          February 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

           The rich got there by working hard and taking risks. In an ideal world, maybe. I think Bernie Madoff fits both your criteria to a T. He worked hard and he took risks, and he was wealthy - for a while. Ask him how he feels about his money now, after the death of his eldest son. I have read what Ford, Rockefeller, Gould Carnegie did to ordinary people to pile up their fortunes, Machine guns and blood. Behind every great fortune there is a great crime. Some of the crimes have not been discovered yet, but they will be.

  16. Marcoqui
    February 3, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I make programs for a living, i do not pirate, if a Software is too costly for me i wait until i  have the money to buy it , in the meantime i use free alternatives.
    This for my work, for my life i see music and movies not as something whitout i can't live, i could survive if i could't buy a CD, i do not pirate music or movies, it is a choice, i do not think that pirating software, movies or music is the same as stealing but i see it as a bad moral  behavior, that until someone will change the law.

    • James Bruce
      February 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

      What software do you write Marcoqui? Just curious. 

      • Marcoqui
        February 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm

        Mostly Data Warehouses

    • bb
      February 5, 2012 at 4:30 am

      I admire you and the people who respect other people's effort and rights.

      Taking content against the wishes of its owner is stealing. Just cause one don't see the repercussions doesn't make it anything lesser. I think we tend to forget that.

  17. Peter Pottinger
    February 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    What you simply aren't getting and makes everything you said moot, is that the rich 1% have no intention of giving up what they have stolen/earned to help out "indie" artists. 

    This is the furthest thing from their mind. SOPA is not intended just to benefit the RIAA but also to give the upper echelons even more power than they already have, so that they may use those powers to keep you subjugated. This is been the constant truth for over 10,000 years, why should it change now?

    • James Bruce
      February 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

      It sounds like you're actually agreeing with me, but saying it won't ever change so why bother fighting it?

      I think it should change now because it's wrong. Simple. Slavery existed for thousands of years, why did we change that? Religion was the law of the land for a long time, why did we change that? Becuase they were wrong, thats why. Give up if you like, I'm not going to. 

  18. Joe
    February 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    If I can buy at a reasonable (my decision of reasonable) price, I will buy.  If not I will download.
    In general the good stuff I'll go and buy afterwards anyway, the not so good I'll just delete...

    • James Bruce
      February 4, 2012 at 9:24 am


    • Mat
      March 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      Totally agree. For example: in my country, there's a total lack of internet movie flatrates with a reasonable price/offer.

    • Riska Asmara
      October 20, 2017 at 3:51 am

      Totally agree with you about this one.