Piracy: A Complex Problem

Pirating is using music, books, shows, movies, and video games for free rather than paying for the product or service.

Now, I would be lying if I said I have not previously pirated media in the past and continue to do so to this day, especially concerning textbooks that would typically cost hundreds of dollars if I didn’t find online PDFs for free.

In the current economic climate, I would not be surprised if piracy rates have spiked. When commodities are expensive, people will seek inexpensive means of acquiring media.

While I know that pirating media is wrong, a multitude of sites exist so that people don’t have to pay high prices for things they enjoy.

Piracy is a subjective topic; if you have the means to pay for, say, streaming services, by all means, pay for the services. However, if you are in my shoes, a college student who does not have an income and wants to watch a popular show or has to get textbooks to do specific assignments, I’ll take what I can get.

The main argument in favor of piracy is that major corporations already have enough money; they will not miss a few dollars here and there when they are making millions of dollars in the grand scheme of things.

While I agree with the argument, it goes much deeper than major brand studios making a profit. For example: an author who wants to publish a book through a notable publisher. If the book is pirated online, the author needs to get the royalties they deserve for their hard work.

Imagine you worked hard on something, whether it be a book, a short film, or a song. Wouldn’t you want financial compensation for your time and effort? I know I would. Piracy doesn’t just affect the companies behind it; it also affects the people involved on a more personal level.

While there are many implications to pirating media, I was shocked to find out that some creators of popular series’ see no problem with people pirating because it brings more fans to a fan base. They made the media for people to enjoy.

According to Variety.com, the creator Vince Gilligan, known for the famous series Breaking Bad, said that there were two sides to the coin regarding this issue: piracy did help bring new fans to the franchise, but at the end of the day, everyone needs to put food on the table.

Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes said that there was a silver lining to piracy, that illegal downloads of the famous show Game of Thrones ultimately led to an increase of paying subscribers for the premium cable.

Bewkes said that piracy ultimately helped Game of Thrones in the long run. Gilligan knows there are economic problems with piracy; why should people enjoy something through a pay wall?