Jeff Atwood had a great post the other day about the pirating of software and as much as I would like to say that there was anything new that will come out of it – well – there won’t. Of course the entertainment industry loves to point to the people doing the pirating as the bad guys and RIAA has made themselves the jackboot squad of the Internet age with their sue the fucker’s into oblivion attitude; and we can see how well that has worked out for them.
What no-one really wants to talk about is why Internet piracy works in the first place. They don’t because they don’t want to ruin the illusion that people are willing to pay for stuff. Sure people will pay for their food because if they don’t they’ll starve. People will pay for their cars because if they don’t they get repo’d. People will pay for their power (if they can) because if they don’t they’ll freeze their asses off in the dark.
Yet when it comes to the Internet suddenly everyone gets the holier than thou attitude about how everything is suppose to be free. It doesn’t matter that the person who created the goods needs to feed their family or pay for their car or be able to heat their homes just as long as you and me can get it for free.
Whadda mean buy a t-shirt – forget it.
Whadda mean look at some ads – that’s why I have an ad blocker.
Whadda mean you want money – forget it … where’s my torrents .. where’s my USENET.
Piracy works for one very simple reason – people don’t want to pay for shit. Now before you self-righteous bunch gets your panties in a bunch I am not saying that everyone is out to steal someone’s hard work – only about, oh – say — 95% of the people on the web.
This attitude that everything is free on the web is being hammered into peoples heads everyday and right at the forefront of those doing the hammering is Web 2.0 and social media. Content should be free they proclaim to the masses. Well as far as the masses are concerned that means anything whether it be an MP3, a movie, a book or a bloggers content.
Governments can kiss ass for votes and Big Media support by going after those bad pirates making all these things available for free. Big media can blame all the losses on those big bad pirates stealing their gawd awful crappy movies and music. The fact is that the pirates only exist to the degree they do because the large majority of people don’t want to pay for something that they can get for free – especially when the basic premise of the web now is that content should be free.
People by their very nature are cheap – give them a reason to justify stealing and they’ll take it. So before you start yammering too much at those big bad pirates maybe we should be looking a little closer to home. As long as we keep telling people that content on the Internet should be free they’ll keep using that as a soothing reason for steal.