Two things I must begin this post with. The first is that this post was originally created to, “calm the beast,” for lack of a better cliché as RedChair, quite accurately, pointed out my lack of actual posts on this site, and as its moderator, thought my opinion on a matter so influential to the life of a blog, particularly my own, should be heard. I happen to disagree, due much to the fact that I rarely feel like my voice needs to be heard at all, that there are much more intelligent, clever and charming – but never more handsome 😉 – people out there that deserve to be heard above my own self, kind of the whole intention of this little project in the first place.
So before we begin, the other thing I was tell you is that I am not trying to educate or inspire; I am merely going to share my thoughts on such an infamous and controversial topic. The thoughts I am about to write will be exactly what I referred to them as: thoughts. They will be pulled from my brain, not from any book or credible source, I merely plan to give my opinion, however professional or unprofessional that may be, on a topic millions have already discussed and covered. I can only hope that mine is different enough to not bore you to absolute death; a minor stroke would suffice just fine.
Online piracy is bad, mmkay? Drugs are bad; prostitution is bad; murder is bad; bad is bad, but what is bad? Or should I say wrong because I do not necessarily consider all acts of online piracy to be bad, however it is all wrong, as in one should not do it, because the law says so.
But is it bad? Is it always beyond a shadow of a doubt, bad. Bad for business? Bad for the consumer? Bad for the country? Or for own personal Morales? Too bad to censor the Internet? Is it? I don’t think so.
I have been quite fortunate enough to grow up in a time of great technological revolution; the Windows era, if you will. From about second grade on, I had to bid adieu to those entirely way to big floppy disk-Mac’s that played Oregon trail and taught you your multiplication tables via some sort of 8-bit character that beeped at you while a speech bubble ran across the screen, and say bonjour to Windows 93, 95, 98, 2000 and so on and so forth.
Not only that, I was also growing up and maturing right along side one of the worlds most influential creations: the internet. With that development came opportunities to deliver news, entertainment, education, shopping and smut in both new and convenient ways.
Note that I did not say the Internet brought new news, new entertainment, new education, new shopping or new smut, but instead I said a new way to “deliver” that media.
I guess what I am trying to get at is online piracy is something new, but piracy, is not. My childhood consisted of first tape cassettes, then compact discs, then .mp3 via Internet.
Now before the Internet, I am positive I had tapes holding songs that I did not pay for. I paid for the blank cassette that I put in my cd player, which I also paid for, and recorded the songs I wanted from the radio, which is broadcast free to general public. I then evolved from ripping songs to cassettes, to ripping songs to cd. Still, I paid for the empty discs, I paid for my computer or cd burner, and I paid for the cd player that would play the cd I had created, whether it be through a cd player, car stereo or computer.
Now, I have an Ipod, which I paid for, a cell phone, which I paid for, Cd’s which I paid for, a computer, which I paid for, and to top all of that off, an internet service provider that supplies me with the internet I need to acquire the information I desire.
Now before lobbyists started funding political campaigns with tens of thousands of dollars to push SOPA and PIPA through, Internet service providers were already doing their part in confronting online privacy, and kudos to them for doing so.
A very good friend of mine whom I went to college with received a letter from Comcast one afternoon telling him he had been caught illegally downloading an episode of South Park – sorry Trey and Matt – and that it needed to be deleted immediately or legal action would be taken. To put it lightly, it kind of scared the wits out of him, and to my knowledge, has never illegally downloaded something to his computer since.
As consumers, we pay an Internet service provider for a service, and it is up to them to regulate the content their users are provided. I’m not saying just because we have been doing it since the entertainment industry could be easily mass-produced, that it is okay. I guess what I’m saying is that we will catch enough of “pirates” to set a standard, instill fear, if you will into the consumers who so commonly turn to piracy, but don’t censor the internet.
People get shot and killed all the time because of guns, but politicians are not calling for the collection of every fire arm in the country, and people get into car accidents every day because of speeding, but the government hasn’t attempted to pass any bills suggesting that all cars produced in the United States have regulators that never allow the car to push passed 70 miles an hour. Generally, it is up to us as individuals whether we would like to break the law and suffer the consequences, whether that is driving five miles over the speed limit, to littering on the sidewalk to murder. When did the rights of a multi-billion dollar media corporation take precedence over the lives of the very American citizens that corporation is trying to entertain.
It seems I had more to say on the matter than I actually thought. I feel like I could keep going, and going, but my focus would start to become cloudier and cloudier so as a recap.
Let the pirates, pirate. And let the people who catch them, catch them. Don’t change the game because this way is easier, or because you can keep throwing money at it until you are satisfied. The internet is a beautiful thing that is only so beautiful because it is so universal and so free from influence and regulation.