The 3 Most Popular Lies About Computer Piracy the Media Want You To Believe In

“Music file sharing is a theft. The record labels lose their money because of it, and there is a great harm done to the authors of these works.” … there you have it, all three lies about computer piracy in two simple sentences.

End of post.

Ok, this isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning. The above sentences present all three lies about online computer piracy that the media want you to believe in. Here’re the lies in a more in-depth analysis.

(Short disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, or a solicitor, or no one who you should be listening to. So don’t treat this post as any kind of legal advice or suggestion. This post is pure entertainment, and I’m an insane person who does not know what he’s talking about, and you shouldn’t be listening to me under any circumstances.)

1. “Music file sharing is a theft.” Or. “Downloading music and movies from the internet is a theft.”

This is a definition of “theft” by the Free Online Law Dictionary:

[…] all crimes in which a person intentionally and fraudulently takes personal property of another without permission or consent and with the intent to convert it to the taker’s use […]

Another definition:

[…] to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right […]

The keyword here is “take”. So what does “take” mean? Here’s a really complicated diagram to explain this difficult term:

Taking Something

Copying Something

(*I’m not the author of this concept; I stumbled upon it on the internet, however I can’t find the original version now.)

As you can see downloading music from the internet can’t be a theft, because the original piece always remains on the server.

Here’s another example:

But let it not be my only argument. Did you know that you can legally share all works that are in your possession with your friends and family? Yes, it’s true. This is what the law says (at least in my country). So the truth is that if I just bought a book, then I can share it with my family, and even make a copy if that’s necessary.

(If it wasn’t the case, then during a romantic evening with your girlfriend you wouldn’t even be allowed to watch a movie together on the DVD which you’ve bought on your own.)

So if it’s legal then why does the internet suddenly make it illegal? If I want to share my movies with my family and friends, but I want to do it over the internet, then why it becomes illegal in some magical way? This doesn’t make any sense … cause it’s a bunch of B.S.

Another thing. Downloading itself was never illegal. It’s the sharing part that’s “illegal”. So it basically means that you can download but you can’t share. Which has some sense when you look at how it’s like in the real world (“some sense” but not too much, because according to the above paragraphs this whole computer piracy thing is not a theft at all).

In the real world when you buy a used car, you don’t have any physical possibility of making sure that it wasn’t stolen. You can get the transaction done by the book, in the best humanly possible way and still have a bad luck, and end up as the new owner of a stolen ride. … That’s why you won’t be doing some time for that – because you’re innocent (you couldn’t have known the history of the car).

Going back to the dilemma: “stealing vs. copying”.

If you had a chance to copy the Ferrari which just went passed you on the road – I mean to have your own copy without the need to spend even $1, and knowing that the owner of that Ferrari gets to keep his copy, wouldn’t you do it? Maybe just for the sake of it? I know I would.

Did someone suffer from this operation?  The Ferrari owner? No. He still has his Ferrari. So let’s try to find the victim…

2. “If you’re downloading works from the internet then you’re harming the authors.”

Suppose I’ve written a book, found a publisher and managed to publish it. Would it be harmful to me if it suddenly ended up in the hands of thousands of people? How can we name this type of harm? Visibility? Popularity? Authority? Maybe even fame? Oh wait a minute! These are not damages, these are benefits.

Well, that’s what I think it is all about when you’re writing a book… you want it to go viral, and end up being read by as many people as possible, hopefully the whole world.

Ok, so the authors are not the victims. So maybe…

3. “Downloading works from the internet causes major labels to lose money.”

Going back to the Ferrari example. If there wasn’t any possibility to copy the car for free, does this mean that I would go straight to the dealer and buy one?

I’m really amazed how highly developed lack of brain the people in charge of the record labels need to have that they don’t understand this one simple detail. The fact that people take something for free doesn’t mean they are ready to pay for it. Period.

And what’s even better. Let’s take a look at some music industry statistics. According to newest research by one of the British newspapers (via Mashable), people who download music “illegally” tend to spend more money on its “legal” versions than their more law-friendly colleagues. So you can safely say that major labels do make money from “illegal” downloading (but not in a direct, obvious way). Don’t you find it ironic that music file sharing is actually profitable for them?

So who’s the crook?

We’ve managed to set some things right in this post.

Copying is not stealing. No harm is done to the authors. Record labels don’t lose money. Sharing with your friends and family is legal. … So tell me… where does the crime element come into play?

The funny part

What do you think… how did any movie appear on the internet in the first place? Mainly focusing on the movies that haven’t yet had their premieres in the cinemas, and somehow they’ve found their way to the internet.

Are bad internet surfers braking in to safely guarded buildings in Hollywood, incapacitating the security, and walking out with fresh ‘n’ shiny DVDs?

It smells like an inside job. (Hint for the record labels: You probably have a leak there somewhere boys…)

So just look at this situation. Firstly, major labels create a movie. Then they sneak out with it under the disguise of the night through some hole in the fence. The movie ends up on the internet. And then anybody who downloads it is called a thief.

There’s been a long time since I’ve heard a bunch of B.S. of such caliber, so it’ll probably be better if I end here.

(Another short disclaimer: This one’s about my personal opinion on music file sharing and online computer piracy in general. I’m neither for, nor am I against it. I’m the “Switzerland”. I think that it’s just another phenomenon of the internet, with a bad sounding name assigned to it for no reason.)

Do you know any other lies or myths about online piracy? Or maybe I’m insane and don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, this one I’ve already explained at the beginning. Anyway, let me know.

And for my final words. Greetings to my favorite band – Metallica – still remaining wanted in the Napsterland.

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