Whether you believe piracy is a necessary evil or you fight it tooth and nail, I think it's comments like these, from an article about website filtering, that drive me to drink:
True criminal activity means making a profit on the backs of the hard work of others. If file-sharing was “stealing” from these union’ members then why is is that the motion picture industry has enjoyed year after year of record breaking profits?
Wow. Really? If you make an increasing profit over time and someone steals from you, you shouldn't care? That's not stealing? It's not criminal behavior?
So if my local drugstore makes increasing profits over time, I should be able to go in and steal a candy bar occasionally. That's the logic here, isn't it?
No? What do you mean, I'd get arrested for shoplifting? What the heck? I thought, if a business had increasing profits over time, that stealing from them wasn't really "criminal!"
So why is it okay to steal from an author or an actor, but not okay to steal from the drugstore?
This belief stems from our idea that creative endeavors aren't valuable. I was in a graduate program that allowed us to do "art projects" in lieu of a final paper or exam. Many people chose this option, and many professors grumbled about it. Why? Because the perception of creative endeavors is that they aren't "real work." Somehow sitting down and writing a paper was more valuable than doing a painting, or a sculpture, or writing a poem.
The reality is, it's not true. In fact, I'd argue that being creative and imaginative takes MORE discipline and work than not. I know I learned more about myself and my subject doing an art project than I ever learned sitting down and writing an academic paper.
Writing is work. It's hard work. It requires thought and effort. Why is it we believe people who write, or act, or paint, or do anything that involves creativity, shouldn't get paid? I've made an increasing profit over the past two years since I've started publishing my work. So does that mean it's okay for people to pirate my work?
I don't think so.