The land of piracy! As cool as it sounds, believe us it’s not. This is not One Piece. This is the real world. One should not feel proud to call their country a land of piracy. For starters this is illegal and WRONG. Secondly, it is disrespectful to those who make awesome TV shows, Anime, Music, Comic books, books and video games for us. Yet sadly, for those of us who reside in these third world countries have no other option but to use piracy if we want to consume any popular media from countries other than our own.
It’s not just popular entertainment that piracy prevails in. Piracy is intertwined with our businesses too. Just how many companies and homes in these third world countries do you think run genuine windows operating system and Microsoft office software? Not many, that’s for sure.
Before answering that, here is a more important question. DOES IT MATTER?
So what if we pirate all our games? So what if our operating systems are all downloaded from pirate bay? What if all our favorite albums and songs are downloaded from random suspicious looking websites for free? What if all our software and movies are downloaded from TorrentBD? Why does it matter? Why is it wrong or illegal? It’s not like we are stealing money or committing some kind of crime.
Now, imagine for a second that you are one of the writers of your favorite TV show. Put yourself in the shoes of these people for a minute. You have spent months passionately writing a story, writing these characters for this one show. You have poured your heart into every dialogue, every word. Your audience has noticed, and given your show and characters their love and attention. The critics have given you their seal of approval. The pay is great too.
There is just one tiny problem.
Your show isn’t getting any ratings on the TV. So, a few seasons in, your show gets cancelled for something different. All your passion and hard work gone just like that. You are out of job too. It’s time to look for a new job.
How did this happen?
Turns out everyone has been downloading your show from torrent sites.
This might sound like some crazy extreme fictional scenario. But consider this, producer of Hannibal TV series blamed piracy for cancellation of the show. Consider that the band LCD Sound system from United Kingdom begged their fans to not leak their upcoming album. Their plea went unheard. Consider that piracy is the reason that EA implemented very restrictive DRM systems in their games.
Developing, creating anything requires talent, hard work, and time. This is why artists, writers, video game developers, film-makers get paid.
The money we pay to consume art allow the creators to create more for us.
Piracy is pretty much stealing. Every time someone is downloading something for free that has a price tag added, he is depriving the creator of his well-deserved compensation and livelihood.
Why does piracy happen?
So, piracy is morally wrong and its consequences ultimately impact us directly, and negatively. This brings us to our first question again. Why then, do we pirate everything that we can?
The short answer to that question is that, it’s easy. The long answer is a bit more complicated.
Internet hasn’t been around for that long. The world is still adjusting to the huge wave and splash that the Internet has brought along with it. In between all the chaos, innovations, and great leaps forward, the world has lost track of how information can be shared and spread. Now we can easily download a song by Eminem as soon as it comes out without needing to buy it. This would be impossible in a pre-internet world. But, in a post-internet world, where everything is connected, it is expected that pirates will give others access to freely download anything.
Another thing is that these products are simply not available in a lot of third world countries. Even if they are, they are available in very obscure places that most people don’t even know about and they cost a very high amount of money to get. A good example of this would be Japanese anime TV shows and manga in Bangladesh. It’s not like we can not at all find CDs, DVDs of anime shows, and volumes of manga in this country. We can find them if we look and search hard enough. The issues are that it’s not easy to find and the cost is too high. There is also the fact that even if we find what we are looking for, there’s no guarantee that we will be able to find everything of a series and in good enough quality.
Add to all this some basic and normal human psychology. Who in their right mind would go through all that hassle to pay for something when they can find the same thing for free very easily with no issues online? No one.
“They are necessary for countries like us where you can’t get crunchyroll or Netflix even if you wanted to, since international payments are even an issue.”
-Munazil Rahman, Organiser at Unmad-JCC Comic Con.
This is how we have reached the situation that we are right now. We are all just pirates drifting through the endless sea of the World Wide Web. And we are not even the cool, awesome kind from One Piece or the dangerous, adventurous kind like Blackbeard. We are more of a very large group of bandits riding a worn down boat, unaware of what we are really doing. Some of us are also doing this because we have no other option.