Piracy led to the innovation of internet gaming / music / videos. If it wasn't for that original niche market, MMO's like World of Warcraft, music services like iTunes, and video services like Netflix, would likely have taken much longer to be accepted into the mainstream. Naturally, all 3 of those companies responsible for those products are major billion dollar companies.
In terms of the 'little' guy, it enabled amateur artists (music / images / writers, programmers etc) to have essentially free access to billions of people.
In the end, I've basically pirated since I was 12. Even then, there's no real way to truly defend it without opening more holes, it's wrong, but I still do it.
well i do believe that one should support the artist if they can. but im on a tight budget (very tight) and cant affort very much. but im just wondering, is downloading YouTube videos pirating? also is watching anime online (or any show) for free a form of pirating? im just wondering cause if it is then i do do this from time to time, but i cant afford the DvDs. i definitely would support the artist if i could though, in fact i plan to save up some money so i CAN buy it. the thing is if i couldnt watch it for free i would never even had thought about buying it to begin with. and im thinking someone had to pirate it in order to put it online like that for free. i dont think its bad, i think maybe it helps make the artists work more known. like for instance, im going to use anime as an example. im sure the fansubs were pirated in order for people here in the US to watch the anime, but that only made anime more popular here, and encouraged them to do official subs and dubs (but still correct me if im wrong here i just heard this from someone else). so i guess in certain situations it can help the artist. just if you really like the artists work, then do support them when you get the chance.
I support artists when I can afford to. I don't understand why some artists sign onto anti-piracy campaigns considering it limits their exposure. Fans need something to take them to the water. At Baskin-Robbins they let you taste the ice-cream before you buy something.
How is piracy of music/films any different from setting a pretty picture of a unicorn you found with Google Image as your desktop background?
To say something relevant, I almost feel like there are two kinds of artists, and all of them struggle a little under the advent of illegal file sharing. There are undiscovered/independent/"starving" artists who noticeably take a hit when their music doesn't sell, but if it weren't for illegal file sharing, you probably would have never started listening to their music, anyway. Then, there are artists who have already made it in the industry, and I believe they usually make most of their money off of live performances, public appearances, merchandise/product endorsements, etc., and I don't understand why these people need more money, anyway. Even though some of their "fans" are illegally downloading their music, the popularity they get from it allows them to make money in other ways. (I know there are holes in this argument. For one, poor album sells can cause an artist to get dropped from a label. But, still.)
I'm not defending it or anything, because I still think it's technically wrong. It's illegal and, frankly, unfair on a very basic level to the people responsible for making the music. (And, you know, if anything, I might feel sorry for the songwriters, maybe; they make more money off of music than the "artists" do, anyway.)
I'd prefer to sit on the fence concerning piracy but as for the creative types and their property rights it's up to them, whomever they might be to prevent the theft of their own intellectual property.
I know it's not exactly on topic, but it is related. This thread reminded me that I hadn't posted this yet. For creative types who don't mind letting others access and alter your work, and who want to get inspired by others who have the same attitude about their art, music, movies and writing, you're going to love this. I sure do.
As a photographer, my images remain a valued source of income through licensing. And, as a creator, I value the right given me to control where and how my work appears. Losing those rights is very troubling.
Many, many of my works have been pirated. Some have been used on sites that run contrary to my beliefs or to the intentions of my work. Some have been used in political arenas to which I have strong negative views. In many cases a 'prate" will claim they are giving me "free" publicity. No thank you! I choose how I get publicity and the mass pirating reduces the value of my work in legitimate licensing.
One study shows that 90% of the images on the Internet are used without permission. My personal experience bears out these figures and I am a strong believer of protecting my work. Theft has never led to the expansion of intellectual thought or the advancement of civilization -- an argument often proposed by anti-copyright activists.
My photographs have involved a lifetime of work and experience. Often a great personal risk and expense. To find my work on coffee mugs, racist web sites, or distributed as screen savers angers me and discourages the creative professions.
No matter on which side I stand and what arguments I bring to the table, there's always something that I cannot justify or that limits me in how I explore art (music in particular).
I can't justify stealing from musicians who do not perform live for instance - no matter how I turn it, it's not going to pay their bills.
These 'try before buy' arguments the poet in that YouTube video talked about might work for him, since he was an established writer already. It might also work for unestablished writers, but mainly because books are still best read on paper. Now, let's say I read my books on the screen (laptop/iPad/Kindle/etc.) - this way of reading is becoming more and more popular. Ok, so I can download a PDF illegally and send it to my friend - two people now have the book and none of us have payed for it. See the difference to the example he made, where at least one of the two persons has actually bought the physical book? His arguments aren't bulletproof. In music, sharing without ever owning a physical copy is already reality for quite some time now and we all know the outcome: the vast majority doesn't pay for what they consume. It's a myth that the people liking a tune/album will eventually buy it. Once you have it, it's rather unlikely for most people to buy it.
Having an anti-piracy attitude is rubbish as well, since it limits us in how we explore art. Most of the music I listen to, I wouldn't have listened to if I hadn't stolen it. And I have to admit, I usually don't pay for it afterwards. But I'm aware that even the fact that people pirate my own music and I'm struggling as an artist myself, doesn't justify my actions...
I'm not sure if a fair solution for everyone will ever exist - we'll just have to make the best out of it and use the internet to our advantage. Fighting piracy is like fighting nature; there's no chance we will ever have the upper hand.
The question we should be posing today is not "Is piracy good or bad", but "What solutions exist to expand on how we distribute art and how do we make it profitable for as many artists as possible?". Anti-piracy discussions belong to the last century.
The things I have stolen I would never have bought. Either way the creators lost. Or whoever is supposed to make money from it.
While I am a pirate, I don't embrace the ideals of the piracy community. But then again, obscurity tends to make me lose interest and adding the jungle that is legal issues to obscurity is a surefire way to make me not bother discussing things. The mere idea of selling art is weird to me. But I don't know how such things should work. So I keep my distance.
I absolutely hate the anti-piracy factions as well. They're strong where I live and do pretty much whatever they want, always screaming about the poor artists while using mafia methods to make people pay. It's sad that the music, film, and software industries can't be better represented than by vultures. It felt really good when that UK law firm got hacked and dies a rather painful death.
I feel what @Willjan is referring to is different though. I don't mind that people borrow my pictures, but I wouldn't like if they profited from them.
Edit: Wanted to add that I have no idea how the piracy laws even function. I have scrip filter and ad block addons for Firefox which effectively removes advertisement from Youtube and other video sites that integrate ads, so the commercial value is completely lost for those sites. Aside from that I use a site to save the audio part of videos as mp3 files and I really have no idea where I'm crossing the line. To add to that there's the difference in laws between different countries and that license lulz that makes it perfectly legal to add subtitles to anime and redistribute it outside of Japan until the point where someone buys the right to air it internationally, after which the subbed video is illegal. Meh. I can think of so much more crap to rage about, so I'll just shut up. ~~
Mumbo-Jumbo equates anti-piracy efforts as rubbish and that it limits how we explore art. While art owes so much to what has gone before, there is a serious question that stealing art does much for exploration. Art exists in galleries, museums, publications and are available for appreciation and learning. Taking art, then distributing it widely for personal, commercial, or political gain does not help the artist or art.
Civilization advances upon creativity. Many pirates benefit from the work of those artists. If artists can not earn a living from their art, they may very well drop out, and we suffer a loss. I have been accused of "mafia methods", when all I did was ask a pirate to remove my work from their website. It seems to offend some to be faced with an artist who does not want their work on another's commercial or ego driven website. My position, I created it. It is mine. Look at it, don't use it for your own benefit without my permission.
As mentioned, one of my photographs was pirated and placed on cups, mouse pads and posters. I should be the one to decide if I want my work embellishing chachkas, used in political campaigns, or credited to someone else. All of which has happened to me.
@Willjan: Sorry, but you're a bit naive to think that you can control piracy.
What you don't see is the fact that everything you moan about (which is understandable by the way) happens with or without the internet. Only difference is that you'll have a better overview what goes on in the virtual world as opposed to reality. If you're a famous photographer, how will you ever know that there isn't a gas station in South Africa or a souvernir shop in Honolulu or a racist group in Texas that prints your photos on coffee mugs - with or without the internet? Once your pictures are out there, they're out there and you cannot control how people use them. Art is free.
Well it depends on whats being pirated and how people go about doing piracy, downloading and selling pirated music, movies, and ect is terrible but for personal use I can't see really anything wrong with it, in my eyes its the same thing as getting it from a friend and borrowing it! Me personally I don't do the technical piracy i find loop holes in the laws so i wont break the laws and yet get what I want, lol like downloading the audio of youtube videos, the law states that the artist puts it on youtube for publicity then it is there responsibility for leaking there work, so I just download the audio of there music videos and convert them to MP3 XD so it technically the artist fault, or there producers! And for movies I just watch them online through streaming sites that are much like youtube, the law says only downloading lol I am not downloading just watching XD and with video games i use to use emulators but they are pieces of crap for most system emulators the old gen consoles like Nintendo and super Nintendo, 64 and PS1 work fine but i already own them! XP