Piracy is one of the most heated topics of 2018. While things aren’t exactly all black or white, people still love it. Why? Because it gives them access to resources which are free. Nobody would mind if the $60 GTA is available for free.
However, people often fail to realize that music, software, movies, games, TV shows and everything else they enjoy so much have lots of hard work invested in them.
What do the findings say?
The scale of piracy is rather high in the US. Not only because most of the music and films remain a source of earning for the US, but also because this spreads over to the pirated goods as well. We are not only referring to pirated content. In the year 2013 alone, the content pirated was staggering USD 213 billion.
In addition, the stats for pirated goods stood at 710-917 billion for the same year. We cannot argue with the practice as it is both immoral and unethical. We have already stated how much blood, sweat, and tears go into their development and production but who cares, right?
Not only are pirates robbing the hard working individuals of their credit but also the right to sales and subsequently, profit.
What are the adverse effects?
The obvious effect is that one cannot sell legal copies. Since the cheaper versions are already out there in the market. Piracy breeds piracy as one finds more illegal copies made and distributed. In the US, currently, there are very strict rules which deal with piracy.
It is punishable under the court of law, just so you know, and people buying and consuming pirated content are equally liable for the crime as the one developing them and/ or markets them.
History of piracy in the US
Majority of the content and goods are not safe from piracy. From production houses to record labels; all are a victim of piracy. However, it is also important to note that how this came into being? Music industry led to this and quite ironically, still continues to be a hot commodity in the world of torrent.
In 1999, Napster made people to download songs from their server for free. This grew into a phenomenon worldwide. People copied this formula and many different sites showed up on the internet. 60 million people downloaded their favorite tracks from Napster at one point in time.
This contributed to music industry’s sales dropping considerably. It was not until 2012, that platforms such as Amazon and iTunes surfaced. And the industry has been able to survive from that point forward. Now people are actually purchasing/ paying to listen to music from above platforms.
Same occurred with TV shows and movie. Torrents spread like wildfire. People got the hang of it and started downloading all their favorite TV shows from the comforts of their home through a decent internet connection. Game of Thrones became wildly successful just production wise but also due to be most pirated show in the history ever! It’s still up for debate whether it was piracy that made it such a huge pop-culture thing or its sheer production quality, direction and acting. But as is the case with music, this phenomenon is also receding thanks to the likes of Hulu and Netflix. Again, people with a paid subscription can access their favorite TV shows. On an annual basis, US loses 250 billion, only because of piracy according to this report.
Chances of malpractice
Most will not stop and think the content they are getting so cheaply maybe riddled with viruses and malware. And it’s often the case. People have downloaded the content in the past, hit “play” to start and poof vanished their data and in some cases, their system.
On occasions, hackers may even exploit it in the event they get access to that data. All this because of the person’s mindset to not buy licensed products or content.
What can One do to prevent piracy?
When making a purchase online, be sure to look for online price and compare it with product’s original price. Usually, when something is too good to be true it actually is. Other than when not purchasing online, check out for the labels and seal underneath the product to judge its authenticity.
Inquire a word of mouth info from users who may have used the item in the past. Hold on to the receipts of purchases you have made because if some product turns out to be fishy you can quote the receipt’s reference and demand refund/replacement.
Above all, always and always, never fall for anything that says “free!”