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  • Piracy is Not a Victimless Crime: Who are the Victims?

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    Piracy is rampant throughout the world right now and there seems to be no way of stopping it. Whether it is someone illegally streaming their favourite TV show or downloading a game, it seems like piracy is not going to stop anytime soon.

     

    Although there are many ways through which organizations deal with piracy, none of them are particularly working.

     

    We will take you through how most of the people pirating content nowadays are able to protect themselves from any action. After that, we will tell you about the victims of piracy, and how it might end up shutting down many industries and crushing many dreams.

     

    How pirates protect themselves

    Although a fair number of people still pirate content through their regular internet, it is hard to punish all of them. There is no way to reach millions of people scattered throughout the world, which is why most organizations only target people in a few countries.

     

    In the third world countries, people who pirate content are often too poor to be able to pay any compensation for a lawsuit. On top of that, many countries do not have solid piracy laws which would allow the owners of the content to threaten or execute legal action.

     

    The most popular way through which people protect themselves when they are streaming or downloading copyrighted content is through the use of a VPN. A Virtual Private Network allows people to hide their presence online and makes it impossible for any of their activities to be traced back to them.

     

    A VPN can be a great tool if used correctly since it allows people to enjoy the internet without being under surveillance. However, one of the disadvantages of having a VPN is that it is an integral part of pirating content. 

     

    How organizations and production houses suffer from piracy

    One of the biggest victims of piracy are the companies who are involved in producing all of the content that is eventually pirated. Although film companies are able to limit this damage somewhat due to the fact that films are only available in their HD versions in theatres for some time before they go online, music and gaming companies really tend to suffer.

     

    When it comes to gaming, the industry leaders such as Activision and EA are still able to turn out a handsome profit. However, games are pirated in such massive amounts that many of the Indie and small developers end up losing a fair share of their profits to piracy.

     

    The music industry is somewhat similar. Due to the fact that most people nowadays do not feel the need to buy albums (whether it be due to Youtube, Spotify, or piracy), the record labels often end up taking a cut out of the merchandise or the show tickets sold. This way, it is the artist who is creating the content who ends up suffering the most.

     

    The biggest victims of piracy are the creators

    Although organizations definitely are affected by piracy, they are still able to churn out decent revenue due to the fact that they have a whole roster of various agents producing content. In the end, it is the small-time artist that takes the biggest hit due to piracy.

     

    Some people often wrongly believe that the person whose content they are pirating is a millionaire and does not need the money that they would get from a purchase. If you listen to someone like Imagine Dragons or Taylor Swift, this might be true (although it is still wrong to pirate their content). However, many artists especially those in alternative music scenes such as metal and dubstep do not have huge followings and end up living on minimum wage due to piracy.

     

    Musicians are not the only one who feel the sting of piracy. Many authors have their books pirated and posted on the internet for free as well. This way, it is their fans who suffer the most since many of them end up taking on second jobs which take up their time and stifle their creativity.

     

    What can we do?

    Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a de-facto solution for piracy as of yet. The best thing that a lone individual who is worried about the effect of piracy can do is to make sure that they do not download or use anything which is under copyright but has been downloaded through unfair means.

     

    It might also be a good idea to convince some of the people in your inner circle to not commit piracy. The best way to do this is to simply explain what you have read above and let them know how their actions are detrimental to the creators of the content that they pirate. Make sure you are not overbearing and it does not seem like you are coming from the higher moral ground.
     

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