OCP: December 2006

The Cut n' Paste guide to responding to pirates.

As you may have noticed, I dislike piracy. What I've noticed, in my endless war against people uploading Naruto episode 23524345 on YouTube(seriously, how could anyone think that's even remotely legal?), I keep finding the same few arguments, which can all be countered by the same few rebuttals. I even put them in cut n' pasteable forms, though due to Blogger's limitations, you may need to add line breaks. Tell your friends.

I can't get the anime/music/whatever I want here in the States!

And? How does that justify piracy?

They're too expensive!

Then save up, or don't buy it at all. And while you're at it, explain how you deserve the product despite the fact that you're not paying for it? "Gee, officer, I needed this Ferrari, but I didn't have several hundred grand, so I just took it. Is that okay?"

I wouldn't have bought it anyway!
1. Then you shouldn't have it.2. Yet it was still considered valuable enough to download. Huh.

It's copyright infringement, not theft.
1. You have something you're not supposed to, because you did not meet the owner's terms. That's pretty much the cleanest definition of 'theft' available.
2. For the sake of argument, lets say you're right. So you're performing one morally reprehensible act rather than another.

It's not fair for them to charge that much!
Nope. It 'not fair' for you to steal. According to our economic system, people can charge whatever they want for anything non-essential, whose prices are usually regulated by government. They can charge the moon, but you don't have to buy it. And if you think of anime as an 'essential', you need help.

I already own the game on NES/Genesis/SNES/etc., I shouldn't have to buy it again!
That's right. You own the game. For the NES. Not the Wii, not the GBA, not the PC, the NES. In fact, what you own is basically a pretty box, a piece of removable media with some data on it, and a software license that grants you the right to play it on the system you bought it on. Nothing else. If anyone owns the game, it's Nintendo, or the manufacturer. Not you.

Downloading anime is okay if it's not licensed in the US!
Nice euphemism use. The argument itself is irrelevant, though; the Berne Convention, first adopted in 1886, states that a copyright in one country applies in all of the signatures of the convention. Japan signed on in 1899, and the US helped create the thing. (Canada too.) It's illegal to download anime, regardless of foreign licensing status, and it always has been.

It's only anime/music/an 8-bit game!
If it's so insignifigant, why do you 'need' it?

DVD sales have risen since piracy became widespread.

DVD sales have risen since they were introduced, back in the early 90s, before piracy was widespread. In fact, they just leveled off in 2005.

If corporations didn't want us to download, why don't they stop us?
For the same reason people who don't want to be hit by cars don't just stop them; they can't. Imagine an entire army of people without guns fighting a few dozen armed Marines. The marines are better armed, but they'll eventually run out of bullets and energy, and plenty of the people attacking are just as good at hand-to-hand as they are, if not better. Getting a picture?

Of course, the fact that the unarmed masses will win doesn't justify their attack.

Questions, contributions? Feel free to comment.