Modern pirates use the internet to steal content

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Since the beginning of time us humans have always had a knack for taking the tools that are given to us to exploit a situation.

The internet is one of these such tools.

When it comes to illegal downloads we use the term piracy to illustrate the theft of content.

What kind of content are we stealing?

Realistically anything that could be paid for that we are choosing to access for free is pirating.

This could be using sneaky ways to get around news pay gates, photocopying or downloading a paid book. Usually it entails downloading a piece of software, movie, music or TV show.

How much piracy are we doing?

Recent stats show that collectively internet users access piracy websites about 300 billion times a year.

Of this one third of the content is TV shows. This figure is seen to be on the rise.

One would think that with the popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, this would be on the decline.

The truth is that people want access to each piece of content they desire not just the ones on their paid platform.

Game of Thrones being back on air (only on Foxtel/HBO) is a perfect example.

Stats released show that almost one in five viewers pirated the content rather than paying for it.

One of the challenges of this crime is that people genuinely feel that it is victimless with statements like “don’t the folks in Hollywood have enough money”.

Yet while not everyone personally downloads the content themselves, recent studies showed that 50 per cent of people had watched pirated TV shows or movies in the past year.

The fact is that so long as there is a simple free way to access content and the likelihood of getting caught is minimal, people will continue to pirate. 

internet piracy
Online piracy is one of the most challenging issues facing the creative industries today.

Piracy has impact on artists

The Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association says online piracy is one of the most challenging issues facing the creative industries today.

“If piracy continues at current rates, creative business will become unsustainable,” the association says.

“Piracy is a multi-million dollar enterprise, not just kids in a basement swapping files. Pirate sites generate hundreds of millions of dollars from advertising revenue annually, with not one cent going back to the original creators or owners of the work.

“And pirate sites are amongst the most hazardous places on the internet. One in three infringing sites expose users to malicious software, or malware, that can steal personal and financial information to facilitate ID theft, or lock a computer and encrypt files so they become inaccessible until a ransom is paid.”

  • I pirate actively, both as a downloader to have access to culture that otherwise would be impossible to access for people who are not privileged, as a torrent seeder, sharing content without any other motivation than altruism, and as an uploader of new pirated content if I have the chance. And will keep doing it until I die or am killed.
    Now piracy in the internet has various motivations, often depending on the type of content. For literature, classical music, art and other manifestations of culture which have no mass popularity, the main reason to pirate is to offer access to content that would otherwise be impossible to access. This way of piracy actually has the positive effect of getting people to know and learn more about culture.
    A very different motivation however, stands behind the piracy of massively poular content, such as movies, series and popular music. In this case piracy is a justified means of fighting against the ideological indoctrination, the creation of dependence and consumeristic addiction, and the abusive monopoly of megacorporations with too much power which are a danger to the freedom of society and every individual person. It is fallacious to ignore a multiform phenomenon, reducing it to a simplistic explanation and then use the legitimate reasons against piracy to shield those who must be brought down through piracy.
    I fully recognize the right of an artist to receive complete recognition, ownership and economic reward as the product of his works. In the case where an artist offers and sells his work independently of coprporations and businessmen, the right way to do is to pay the artist for the content you enjoy. However if pirating it is stealing, the same and even worse can be said about corporations and businessmen who exploit, prey and abuse the artist (such as record companies, cinema and TV producers, and more recently distribution business such as Amazon -which by the way uses slave labor-) Some artists even act in connivence with these abusers, both for economic (their greedy lust for profit and luxury) and ideological (an elitist desire to appearing as morally superior and holier-than-thou). A prime example of these accomplices of this new abusive hypercapitalism are the Hollywood actors, who amass millions of dollars which have their orogin on slavery, consumerism and addiction, all the way along presenting themselves as morally superior and philanthropic) As accomplices on the exploitation of billions of fellow human beings these repulsing subhumans deserve no mercy, just like the parasitic exploiting businesses and the hypercapitalist system they created, which must, and shall, be brought down and annihilated.
    Piracy on the internet will never stop; because now, then and always, there will be people who hear the cry of freedom and will fight for it.