Why I’m a Pirate

This is something I wrote for my personal blog a few years ago. Reading it again I see that, with the exception of the mention of Dreamweaver, it holds up pretty well. I will admit, though, with recent acts of idiocy I could add a good deal to it.

For those wondering why I would repost an article about piracy on my business blog, well I have my reasons. About a month or so ago I viewed a video interview with Wil Wheaton about piracy. Today I came across what I thought was a significant comment over at the Netflix Blog regarding their recent removal of the saved list from Instant Queue. Both resonated with the same theory: Say whatever you want about us Pirates but the truth is if it weren’t for corporate greed, there would be so few of us we wouldn’t be an issue.

So I offer this to my fellow business owners. Perhaps a view into the mind of a Pirate will influence you to run your businesses in a way that will allow you to become our allies, not our enemies.

Not too long ago I was reprimanded, by a theme designer with a sense of entitlement, for my lack of morals in regards to my torrents. Sorry, I don’t do morals. Instead I choose to take responsibility for my own actions, right or wrong.

Anyway. I originally ignored this nutter but the thought of making her pretty little head go splooey (’cause I know she still reads my blog) has become rather inticing. Since my views are shared by the majority of pirates out there I figured I’d write them down in hopes that the holier than thou crowd might actually get it. So here goes:

  1. Piracy is a form of protest. As far back as I can remember music lovers have been demanding a way to acquire individual tracks of music. We were tired of paying outrageous prices for CDs when we only wanted one or two songs — especially once we knew how little it actually cost to make a CD. Vinyl and tapes never saw such a markup! But even when the technology became available the music industry was too greedy to give us what we wanted. Thanks to Napster we were able to take it. And then the music industry announced it had this really great idea to make tracks available individually. 😛 I now use Rhapsody for my music fix. I have over 6000 tracks in my library (and 99.5% are legal).
  2. Piracy is a way to share the love. I’m sure you’ve heard of fansubs, correct? Technically these are acts of piracy. However you rarely hear the copyright owners bellyaching, do you? Well, you don’t hear many non-American copyright holders bellyaching, that is. That’s because they know that fansubbing is a free way to advertise their product to other markets which, in turn, often gets them licensing deals. So two points for piracy.
  3. Piracy allows you to try before you buy. Yes, there are a lot of programs that allow you free trials. Heck there are even a good many completely free programs. But what if you want to find out if Dreamweaver or MS Office meets your needs? I don’t know about you, but I really don’t feel like shelling out $149+ on software only to find it doesn’t do what I want, and I can’t return it. Through piracy I know that Dreamweaver is worth saving up for, Open Office does essentially the same thing as MS Office, and PSP is much easier for me to work with than Photoshop.
  4. Piracy is a wake up call. This is related to #1, though it’s less of a protest and more of a “Look. You’ve got a demand here. You might want to make some money off it.” Thanks to us pirates a great deal of media that had been previously collecting dust is now experiencing new life — legitimately.

As you can see, pirates aren’t just a bunch a yahoos who want free stuff. We are making statements. We are exposing ourselves and others to other cultures. We are being wise consumers. We are making our wants and needs known.