When I think to why there was such a spike in piracy, I can’t help but think that it may have stemmed from the same reason why other pirates of the past got into their chosen fields, the outrageous costs that come with allowing company heads to charge whatever they felt like. Nowadays to go and watch a movie costs you more than a dinner for two. To get a cable package that includes hundreds of channels that you wouldn’t bother watching anyway costs you as much as your monthly power bill. All of these charges, incrementally growing over the years that get to a point where your entire paycheck going to what should have been simple fringe expenditures.
Over time this adds up, and leads to people eventually getting fed up. So saving yourself twenty bucks by downloading a movie versus going to see it in theatre all of a sudden doesn’t feel like too big a crime. Of course that’s not the way things work out, but it becomes understandable. Now that companies are making it more affordable to take part in these things we enjoy, perhaps we’ll see a downward trend in illegal downloading. But where some companies are getting savvy to it, and allowing themselves to be more consumer friendly, there are others of course who are only bringing up the cost of everything they do, which turns the whole wheel around once more.
Personally, I think that pirating played an important role in making the market a little less iron fist like, and more malleable. Without the surge of piracy from school students to your random workers in a Jeffersonville roofing company, these large corporations would have never had to sit up and take notice. After all, you can scream and yell at conglomerates all you want, but the only time they’re going to pay attention is if you hit them in the wallet. Which is exactly what the pirate movement did. Which I believe actually played a large role in making things a little more progressively better for your average consumer.
Now I’m sure by this point you’re asking whether or not I still take part in any illegal downloading, and the answer is, sometimes. I still prefer to support things I enjoy financially, but at the same time, there’s a convenience to downloading an episode of a television show versus paying for the full channel even though I’m only interested in a fraction of their lineup. I don’t think I will ever get to the point of downloading primarily, but I can’t afford to indulge in everything I like, which is a very weak argument for stealing. That’s like saying I only steal part of my groceries because raisin bread is too costly. I hope there will come a point where everything we enjoy is reasonably affordable, but until then, the flags will wave high and our pirates will continue to operate in the high seas of the world wide web.