Piracy is NOT Theft: Problems of a Nonsense Metaphor

"When talking about piracy the entertainment industry and politicians often use the term “theft.” This is a huge problem according to the Swedish sociologist of law Stefan Larsson. In his thesis “Metaphors and Norms – Understanding Copyright Law in a Digital Society,” he explains that these metaphors are in part keeping the wide gap between people’s norms and the law intact." [http://torrentfreak.com/piracy-is-not-theft-111104/]

Most of us download (illegal) stuff from the internet; from movies to games to software to music. Are we really stealing them by doing that or is it just sharing as people say? I for one have yet to make up my mind about it. The lawyer in the article mentions the "gap between law and what people see, feel and experience in real life is a problem". The laws pre-digital era aren't applicable to this digital age. That, I agree with.

If you follow the news you'll come across a few people (in the US) who had been heavily fined for every music/movie they had downloaded - which doesn't do much to change people's attitudes. Correct me if I'm wrong but for us Pakistanis, copyrighted material seems to be readily available at ever street corner for a .

Do you think there's a workaround to this? What would it take to get us (or just yourself) to purchase original movies, music, games, etc rather than the pirated ones?

untill various multinatiional/big companies dont introduce special discount offers for Pakistan, there is no way piracy can be eliminated here.

if the so called anti-piracy laws are fully implemented here, almost 70% common users will not be able to install windows(OS) on their systems.

This is SPARTA!!! U.S Laws don't apply here B)

It's a complex debate. But piracy is indeed piracy. No matter, many companies support piracy to make their products famous first, then they drag few people into court to teach others, it is illegal to steal their work. On the other hand, many honest businesses suffer from loss due to ''free sharing'' of their products.

For now the issue seems to be that things are looked in black and white by organizations like RIAA and even the producers. Price reduction might curb it to some extent I suppose. DRM brought to light the issue of the fact that we still don't own our purchases and the artists hold the right to sharing. I wouldn't mind purchasing with DRM or feel the need to share if the prices were dropped.

And yeah, I know this is mainly in the US which is why it might not be entirely applicable to Pakistan but still, do we or rather should we feel guilty getting 'shared' material? Like blogger said that at the end of the day, many real businesses who don't try to rip people off do suffer and go bankrupt. Is it their own fault maybe?

The economics of US do not apply here. The companies simply cannot expect us to cough up the same amount of dough they extort from the people of US of A.

As of typing this post, I am downloading stuff which is not paid for. Should it be paid for? Umm... Yes! Why?.... Why not? I mean, would you want any of your 'for sale' stuff shared for free? If your answer is no then is piracy in any case. If yes, then you should prove it by 'sharing' your for sale stuff....

That's how I Imagine it and I eventually came to the conclusion that piracy IS piracy, not sharing...

Then why do I do it? Umm.... cause free stuff is always fun and we live in a lawless country :lol:

Indeed piracy is stealing. The problem of course lies in the heavy pricing of software which is too expensive for us. If there was a program where the basic software like Windows, Office, Photoshop, etc etc was priced according to the average household income of a country, that would really make a difference. Because software companies need to understand that once a software has been developed, there is very little marginal cost of selling it. That is, all costs to develop the software has already been done and now there would be either no or very little cost when selling it. So its better to sell legal software to poor countries instead of not selling at all and losing a lot of money.

I bought an original Windows 7 starter for my old Thinkpad since I was tired on XP. But i really think that in Pakistan at least Microsoft should offer the full version of Windows for the same price at which they are offering Windows 7 starter.

People around the globe should support opensource projects to get rid of the heavily priced bloatwares

Microsoft and other Big had already introduced various concessional packages for different countries. If they are discriminating Pakistani users so be it.

[quote=“rnathbatra, post:8, topic:15948”]

Indeed piracy is stealing. The problem of course lies in the heavy pricing of software which is too expensive for us. If there was a program where the basic software like Windows, Office, Photoshop, etc etc was priced according to the average household income of a country, that would really make a difference. Because software companies need to understand that once a software has been developed, there is very little marginal cost of selling it. That is, all costs to develop the software has already been done and now there would be either no or very little cost when selling it. So its better to sell legal software to poor countries instead of not selling at all and losing a lot of money.

I bought an original Windows 7 starter for my old Thinkpad since I was tired on XP. But i really think that in Pakistan at least Microsoft should offer the full version of Windows for the same price at which they are offering Windows 7 starter.

[/quote]

While I agree that in places like Pakistan software should be sold at a lower cost, I suppose the problem is that then’d have to find a way for it to work only in Pakistan. Otherwise, a full version for lesser price in Pakistan would mean people in places like the US will try to get it from Pakistan rather than buy it from the US or wherever they are. But then again, would the larger public in Pakistan really spend even a quarter of the actual price if it was possible?

But piracy being stealing? Umm, I’m not so sure about that. You should read the article to see why it shouldn’t be called stealing. In this case, semantics can make a lot of difference.

^We're earning 40 time lesser then an average USA and most European resident, and more then 90% software are targeted toward these markets. So a quarter is nothing for us ;), we need spacial discounts. As you know we need growth in this field, and for this we need more computers and more software, which we unfortunately can't afford with our current earnings, (China, India etc just followed this pattern in the start, and now they're IT giants) hence I say no to any legitimization attempt in our country, unless we're economically competitive with these countries, and this will hardly happen ever :(

and for your poll... I think in most cases except for overpriced software, it's consider as theft... but for us it's like a breath!! = no :P

[quote=“DeZest, post:11, topic:15948”]

Otherwise, a full version for lesser price in Pakistan would mean people in places like the US will try to get it from Pakistan rather than buy it from the US or wherever they are. But then again, would the larger public in Pakistan really spend even a quarter of the actual price if it was possible?

[/quote]

That is not possible since even Windows 7 starter can only be activated when you’re within Pakistan and will not activate if you are in US or in UK, for example. So its better if MS would just give us at least Windows 7 Home Premium at the price they are giving Windows 7 Starter.

Regarding the pricing, well then, in addition to the high prices, another factor is there as well. And that is that the people in Asian countries don’t regard a piece of software as an asset. They think its a waste of money. Although I am pretty sure that once you buy an OS you’re at least going to use it for 5 years. So paying somewhere around Rs. 3k for something you’re going to use for 5 years is not bad at all but many people dont think that way. Same way many people call you a fool for paying for electricity that you’re using. :(

I pirate because:

1) Original content/software are too expensive for my Pakistani pocket.

2) There's no way for me to obtain certain content/software legally even if I want to.

Unless the big companies recognize our existence and want our money, I don't give a darn.

[quote=“DeZest, post:11, topic:15948”]

People in places like the US will try to get it from Pakistan rather than buy it from the US or wherever they are.

[/quote]

Offering softwares at reduced prices is nothing new, MS is doing this in various developed/developing countries already.

Its pure discrimination and sharing is the best response to this discrimination

Why you guys are talking about softwares? OP is talking about entertainment ( you know movies, music etc.) industry not the software industry.

We download software legally or illegally when we need it which also means we don't necessarily download every software which out there. I have downloaded WinXp (pirated of course :) ) 5 years ago which I am still using to date. so I f*cked MS once. But in those 5 years, I have download lots of movies and music... So you do the math, which 'F*ckee' really deserves to be discussed here.

If the law about piracy is passed here, I'll dump everything related to windows and switch to Linux, completely. Ofcourse, I'll be forced to quit gaming due to migration, but honestly, that's the only thing worthwhile I do on windows OS. Every other thing I do in windows can easily be done in Linux, and much more securely. Free software is always better than paying for bloated stuff. Even on windows, I've completely forsaken running cracked apps on my OS, because they do more harm than good in the long run.

@godfather, True but imagine yourself in the place of an artist (instead of a software developed) who wants to earn through selling his music. Would you still believe that sharing isn't theft? Like the article says "One of the obvious problems is that it suggests that every “stolen copy” is a lost sale."

@Faisal, Spot on. Since Windows 7 came pre-installed with my last desktop and laptop and pretty much everyone else has it too, that discussion's become a bit moot. Yeah, it's the movies, music and games where the real loss is from the business side of course. I've wondered at times you know, if one day we'll end up destroying the film and music industry this way. I'm guessing that even if such piracy was to threaten the bankruptcy of such industries, people wouldn't stop until the industries are dead.

@jDk, With software, I've switched to free ones as well rather than cracked stuff. There's almost always an equally or almost as good free alternative out there.

Sometimes I feel guilty. Regardless of their discrimination or overpricing, does it justify "sharing"?

^ No, it's not lost sale. Because if I'm not allowed to "steal", I'm not gonna buy it either.

Besides what was the last time you saw a popular foriegn record company release an album here? How exactly am I supposed to buy an album?

Or how am I supposed to make digital purchases without PayPal or a credit card?

Piracy, my friend, is the only way to go in Pakistan.

4 people think piracy as theft :ph34r: