How common and acceptable is internet piracy?
What exactly is internet piracy? Internet piracy relates to when any type of digital file that has been copyrighted, has been reproduced and distributed on the internet. These files include music, software’s, movies and e-books, hence, making internet piracy an illegal act against the law. Internet piracy is currently a crime problem on a global scale, due to the simplicity and ease of using search engines. So, the real question is, how common and acceptable is internet piracy?
Internet piracy is, and always has been very common. According to statistics from the website: www.internetlivestats.com , about three billion people on the planet have had access to the internet by the end of the year 2014. China, for example, is the currently the most populated country in the world, and 91% of its population conducts internet piracy. In addition to this, 60% of India’s population also conducts internet piracy (India is the second largest populated country in the world). The two countries that were mentioned above are proof that internet piracy is becoming increasingly common. This trend is going on a passive rate, as the number of years go by, more people will have access to internet. However, despite the increasing number of people who have access to the internet, there are many other reasons to show why internet piracy is becoming more common in the current era. One of these reasons includes downloading recently released movies online. As we all know, going to a cinema to watch a movie will cost money. Therefore, in order to avoid spending money, many people will often prefer to watch the movie for free and without cost, in the comfort of their own home/personal space. Another reason for internet piracy being very common is that people now have the ability to copy the digital file onto a portable storage device (e.g. a CD). This method is often referred to as “burning”. Once the digital file has been transferred onto a portable device such as a CD, it then has the potential of making profit, as many people nowadays will often buy newly released movies in the form of CD’s due to ease of portability. Thirdly, internet piracy becoming increasingly common is due to newly released games. Just like watching movies online, many people will prefer to illegally download newly released games such as GTA, Call of Duty and Mine craft, in order to avoid costs. After all, it’s actually no surprise when it comes to people downloading games illegally, as the average game costs around £20-50 in the current economy, which is quite expensive for the average person. In addition to this, pirating websites, such as ‘The Pirate Bay’, has made downloading soft wares incredibly simple to use, thus, increasing the number of internet piracies around the world. Another example of why the rate of internet piracy is increasing in a passive rate is due to the famous Microsoft office products. Microsoft Office is a program in which people can enter data for all types of uses for their everyday life (e.g. businesses, coursework, etc.). However, despite the unlimited potential of these Microsoft Office products, the cost is very expensive and cannot be afforded by everyone, as they cost £109.99 for a single computer, and cannot be transferred to another computer once installed. Therefore, in order to avoid this, people will usually download Microsoft Office products through an illegal third party program (such as torrent websites) which clearly defines internet piracy.
Internet piracy is considered to be ‘non-acceptable’ by the law. One of the main problems of internet piracy is that it would certainly cause disruption in the economy. Companies will lose large amounts of money, due to the decreased amount of customers purchasing their products. Statistics from the internet show that $12.5 billion is lost every year due to piracy in the music industry (as 95% of the music downloaded online is illegal), 71,060 jobs are lost every year due to internet piracy, two thirds of the torrents that are available are illegal, an average IPod contains around $800 worth of music downloaded illegally, 75% of computers have a minimum of one illegally downloaded application and $59 billion worth of soft wares were illegally downloaded in the year 2010. In addition to this, the people who managed to get a copy of the digital file have the ability to produce profit. Overall, due to internet piracy, many jobs have been lost, thus, affecting the balance economy. In brief, internet piracy is considered illegal by the law, as people have the potential to make profit through the use of copyrighted work, and as we all should know, gaining income through the use of someone else’s hard work isn’t morally right and acceptable.
On the other hand, internet piracy is actually becoming more socially acceptable by internet users all over the world. A recent study on internet piracy showed that 70% of the people find that there is absolutely nothing wrong with internet piracy and shouldn’t be considered as illegal. The reasons for this? Firstly, the modern economy is claimed to be unfair to middle and low class citizens, as digital products nowadays are expensive, therefore, these people will actually benefit from internet piracy. Secondly, it’s usually a person’s nature to follow the act of others around them, in other words, if a person knows someone that is conducting internet piracy, then that person will most likely do it him/herself, as they might think that there is no harm and that everybody else is doing it. Thirdly, people who get caught in the act of internet piracy, claim to be targeting only big companies. The reason of them saying this is that since the company is large and has always been successful, internet piracy wouldn’t have a noticeable effect on their profits, in other words, they are causing the companies no harm at all.
In conclusion, we can see that not only internet piracy is very common in the modern world, but also, people have different and mixed opinions when it comes to this certain area, despite being a crime. Some people (usually people who created their own product/companies) consider internet piracy to be unacceptable as it disrupts the economy as other people gain profit, whilst others consider internet piracy acceptable, due to the high price of digital products in the current market and the potential to save or earn money. However as mentioned earlier, about 70% of internet users all around the world say that there is nothing wrong with internet piracy (due to the benefits of saving money), meaning that the majority prefer internet piracy to be considered as acceptable. According to the current results, we can conclude that internet piracy is becoming more common and acceptable as the years pass by.
1. http://www.internetlivestats.com/ - 22/3/2015