Monday 31 May 2010

Thoughts on copyright violation, piracy and illegal downloads

I have been engaged in a few discusions lately on these topics and one question keeps rasing its ugly head.

Who is hurt by copyright violation, piracy and illegal downloads?

Many people, mostly the reprobates that run the dishonest download sites, say no one. They are wrong. The artists, musicians and writers are hurt.
Of course, the pirates don’t want you to think about that because they are making too much money off their website membership subscriptions and advertising. They don’t want you to think about the human beings who created that art, music or book you are illegitimately downloading. They don’t want you to know you are a criminal (you may not like that fact, but it’s true) the minute you pilfer that prohibited copy. Because the fact is these sites are engaging in illegal distribution which is a violation of copyright. They do not have the legal right to provide any copies for downloading. By participating in these sites, you are receiving a pirated copy from an unlawful distributor.

Now, how is piracy hurting people?

Well, creative types need to make a living the same as you, and contrary to popular belief, the majority of writers, musicians or artists do not make millions in royalties. Some of us make a profit, but generally not enough to pay the bills; some artists or writers are lucky if they break even.  Most have regular jobs, our creative efforts are what we love to do in what spare time we can scape together. We send our efforts out into the world hoping someday we can aspire to have a full-time career and you, pirate lovers, are spitting on that.

Our work is our work, not yours. We allow you the opportunity to read it by offering it for sale. You do not have the right to take it!  When pirates rip us off, we feel violated, angry, sad, disappointed and discouraged.  I mean, would you want to try and make a living in a workplace where your potential customers think it is okay to take your work without paying for it?

As a writer, I can tell you months (and no I am not exaggerating) of my life can go into a book. Why would I want to waste that effort on thieves?  Would you?

Think about the person behind that song, book, or graphic next time, before you download. If you think causing pain is fun, then click your mouse.


J.A. Saare / Aline Hunter said...

I get on my soapbox about this often but you are absolutely correct. Most authors/creators work and write when they can, spending months on certain projects, only to have them stolen after weeks of edits, revisions, and hard work.

Oftentimes, I wonder if it's worth it to continue writing the things I do. There is a call for the sequel to Dead but as it's being heavily pirated at the moment, I'm not at all certain if it will ever happen. How can I write it when I spend hours each day sending out takedown requests?

It's very sad when people expect to enjoy anything they want for free.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I think in the long run it hurts everyone. Great post, Anita. I'm passing it along to everyone I know.

A. F. Stewart said...

I've heard other authors express the "is it worth it?" feeling; it is especially discouraging when it comes from a new unpublished writer.

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