Five years ago we would think of swashbuckling pirates with busy beards, a wooden leg and a penchant for saying “Oarrgghhhh”
More recently we think of Somalians, capturing boats, and holding them for ransom.
Piracy however is everywhere.
It’s a simple fact that people flagrantly break the law all the time. Whether it’s downloading a song, stealing some staples from work, or going 31mph in a 30 mile per hour zone.
People when they consider law breaking think of things like murder, rape or burglary, but do we as a society see things differently because of how it is done?
We have all heard of the wacky laws, like in the New York, a person can be fined $25 for flirting, in the UK it is illegal to enter the houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour and in France, it is illegal for a woman to wear trousers in Paris.
These laws no doubt date back many years, and are very much disregarded.
But we are also all aware of laws, which we break on a regular basis.
They break the speed limit; go through a red light when no one is looking, or park on double yellow lines.
The Office kleptomaniac
They will post a letter from the office, take some paperclips or print out some things on the work printer to save them ink in the home. They may also use the phone for personal calls.
This is the most prevalent and the one who is receiving the most press recently. Just today 5 UK ISPs (Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media) have been told to block people accessing the Pirate Bay. The full article is here.
The article quotes the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), who said
“Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists,”
“Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them.
“This is wrong – musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else.”
While I am not condoning piracy in anyway, I have two points to make.
1. If you block the Pirate Bay people will open The Pirate Bay 2, The Pirate Bay Hotel or some other derivative, so you will then have to then block that one, and then another and another…..and so it continues.
2. This is addressing Music only. Most people reading the article will (I think) assume it is designed to prevent music and DVD downloads, but what about other things?
With devices such as the kindle, Nook, and Sony E-Reader, which are becoming more and more popular, should we not be looking to protect authors as well?
I think we can all agree that the birth of E-Readers are rejuvenating the world of literature. Normal people are having a crack at the whip, releasing their own books, hoping to make sales and make profit cutting out the publisher.
Also, short stories are once more popular, and I feel we are seeing a full on cultural revolution, with E-Readers, and web sites dedicated to stories and publishing authors work.
But considering that most E-Books are small files, which would fit on a floppy disk, they can easily be uploaded to file sharing websites and emailed between friends, which are cutting down the author’s potential revenue.
But should we be concerned about it?
People have lent people books since they owned them, so is it any different?
JK Rowling, and her team of “muggles”, has vehemently defended her brand, and her lawyers have been quick of the mark to defend anyone publishing her stories online.
Should authors be lobbying their MP’s and legislators to try and prevent EBook Fraud?
Or should that be left to the big bad boys of the music industry?