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Piracy – The right and the wrongs

I’ve just been following an excellent conversation between @Sarahpinborough and number of other tweeple. In it she linked to an article by @paul_cornell, http://www.paulcornell.com/2010/12/twelve-blogs-of-christmas-ten.html, in which he gives a number of good reasons as to why piracy is bad.

I’ll leave it to you to form your own opinions, and it’s not up to me to encourage to stop if you are copying etc, but I do believe that he left one critical thing out. It’s not a justification, as how can you justify doing something that is illegal, more of a ‘this contributes’. All of this is a generalisation by the way, in case people start nit picking. Nor will I enter into debate on ‘copying is right, or copying is wrong’, as I’ve seen that those who agree with it will do it, those who don’t agree with it won’t. Neither will allow themselves to be convinced and I truly believe that people who do copy can be persuaded to stop is if the author seems them with a copied product and confronts them face-to-face. Even then, I bet some wouldn’t give a shit.

The thing that I think he left off was the public’s perception of celebrities. Let’s take actors, and by actors I mean musicians as well. I mean, look at them. Absolutely FILTHY rich. Seriously. X actor gets paid TENS of millions to be in a film. The film grosses HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. Said actor is seen driving around in bling car, wearing watches worth up to three month’s of a normal person’s salary, suits that people can only dream of wearing, going on holidays that would cost most people a year’s salary and so on. They also get shift-faced, high on drugs, have multiple affairs and generally seem to abuse the wealth they have.

The public perception is that these people are completely and totally minted. If they’re so rich, how on earth are they going to notice a failed sale of a DVD? People aren’t copying from  actors/ musicians/ authors, they’re copying from the perception of those people.

If all everyone hears about is how rich Patterson and Rowling are, and not about how X author is only getting 10,000 per year, for a book that takes a year to write, then their PERCEPTION is going to be that the celebrity (not the person) can therefore afford to take the hit.

None of this is a justification, but more of a reason as to why I believe so many people copy. They see the celebrity, they see how much they are earning, and then they translate the cost of the DVD/CD/Book into their salaries. £15 for someone earning £6.50 an hour, is a lot more to them than it is to someone earning so much more.

I’m not going to go into how we can get around it, because if I ever do I’ll be selling the idea, not putting it up here for someone to copy.

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7.


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